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Car Accidents

July 24th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents

Three Things You Should Not Have to Worry About When You Hire a Capable Car Accident Attorney

If you have been in a car crash in Pennsylvania, you probably have lots of worries.

Your first priority should be taking care of your injuries, but there are also worries about your financial situation and how the crash will affect your future and your family. You worry about paying your bills and your living costs, especially if the injury affects your ability to work and you no longer have a vehicle.

Then there is the stress of dealing with insurance companies. What if you say something wrong and it damages your case? How do you know how much your settlement is worth and whether to agree to what the insurance company offers?

You will want to know what underinsurance is. You will need to know if you have signed any waivers or sign-downs reducing your underinsurance coverage. You will need to know about the insurance coverage of the other driver or drivers. You will want to know whether the other driver who was at fault for the accident was at work and, if so, what levels of insurance may exist.

The way to ease these worries and ensure you get the highest settlement possible is to hire an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to deal with the issues, and to do so promptly.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a vehicle crash, you may be entitled to a settlement to cover medical, doctor, hospital and rehabilitative expenses, loss of future wage horizon, disfigurement, property loss, and loss of life’s pleasures prior to death. However, your case must be handled correctly, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system. Our seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle crash attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well-positioned to handle even the most difficult cases.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so call or contact us online today.

Three Things You Never Worry About When You Hire a Car Accident Attorney

The following are examples of things your attorney will handle, so you no longer need to worry about them:

1) Dealing with Insurance

Insurance companies are concerned about their own bottom line and will always try to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible.  These companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating your claim right away, so you need an attorney on your side immediately.

Your attorney will handle all dealings and communications with insurance companies, protect your rights, and keep you from falling into traps the adjusters try to set to get you to damage your own claim. Your attorney will work to secure first-party benefits and other forms of payment you might be entitled to. Insurance companies know that attorneys will not be pushed around and will negotiate realistically to prevent the expense of going to court. Pennsylvania has a system of insurance that not only concerns fault and whether there is a “serious injury” if you have limited tort, but also un and underinsurance. These are extremely complicated areas of the law where the courts are constantly issuing new decisions.

2) Dealing with evidence, laws, proving liability, and court matters

Evidence from a crash can evaporate quickly, as witnesses disappear, and damaged vehicles are towed away. An experienced car accident attorney can ensure that all of the evidence is properly preserved and have pictures taken to validate your injuries and damages.

Your attorney knows how to use the law to your advantage and the best way to prove the other party was at fault. Attorneys will take care of paperwork and legal matters, negotiate with insurance companies, gather witnesses, and determine whether to accept a good settlement or take your case to court. If you do go to trial, attorneys know what juries look for in making a determination, and they have connections with expert witnesses to help prove your case. They know how to argue your case before a judge and jury to get you the settlement you deserve. Of course, there can be no guarantee of results. Every case is different. Both legal and factual issues will dictate the course and scope of your recovery.

3) Calculating damages

Calculating your damages is complicated and requires considering numerous factors. In Pennsylvania, damage compensation falls into two categories:

  • Economic damages – expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as past, present and future medical and hospital expenses, , doctor, rehabilitation costs and other so-called “out of pockets.”
  • Non-economic damages – costs which are more subjective, such as the loss of life’s pleasures and emotional damages. Loss of life’s pleasures only applies prior to death.

If a case goes to a jury, there are factors that are often used to calculate a dollar figure for non-economic damages, such as the type, extent, and severity of injuries and how they affect your daily life and activities, including your personal relationships and whether you will be able to return to work.

Contact Us for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, let the skilled and experienced Pennsylvania car crash attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann help relieve your worries and get you the best settlement possible.

Cliff Rieders wrote the book on Financial Responsibility Law, which is the law that governs auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders teaches the law to other experienced attorneys. He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.

Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff has authored a number of other textbooks and articles and he frequently teaches the law to other experienced lawyers. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

At Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results. Do not delay. Call or contact us online to set up your free consultation today.

VICARIOUS LIABILITY-MOTOR VEHICLES-SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT

Auto accident involving employee.  It must be proven in order for vicarious liability to apply that the acts were committed during the course of and within the scope of employment.  Even if the employee was engaged in furthering the employer’s business at the time he was driving his personal vehicle, there is no evidence that the employer exercised actual or potential control over the vehicle or the use of the vehicle at the time and place of the accident.  It must be shown that the personal use of the vehicle was of vital importance in furthering the employer’s business.  Under such circumstances, the courts may infer actual potential control by the employer.  Liability, therefore, here cannot attach.  Ludwig v. McDonald, 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 150 (February 21, 2019) Stevens, P.J.E.

Drivers with Multiple DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania

Drivers who repeatedly drive while intoxicated, even after getting multiple DUI convictions, put themselves and others at risk.

Drunk driving is a major cause of car crashes that kill and maim people throughout Pennsylvania.  In 2017, the department of transportation (PennDOT) recorded 12,040 crashes where a driver was suspected of being impaired, a 2.1 percent increase from 2016.

With the holiday drinking season in full swing, Pennsylvania lawmakers have voted to increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders. On December 23, 2018, a law went into effect that increases penalties for those with a third conviction of driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system, and for anyone with fourth DUI convictions. In addition, mandatory jail time for repeat offenders is longer.

If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving drunk driving, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. This includes medical, hospital and rehabilitation costs, lost past and future wages, loss of wage horizon, and other economic expenses.  Compensation may also include the even more significant concept of non-economic damages such as loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of family relationships, consortium, society and services.  A host of other damages are involved in connection with wrongful death and survival actions.

However, Pennsylvania laws are complex, and your case must be handled correctly and competently or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.  It makes sense to get legal representation before you talk to an insurance company in order to protect your rights and maximize the compensation you receive.

Attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts, the insurance companies, the system, and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. Our attorneys have successfully represented people who have been harmed in crashes involving drunk drivers throughout Pennsylvania. Call or contact us online today to set up your free consultation.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws

Pennsylvania already had strict DUI laws on the books.  There is a three-tier system with penalties increasing as blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) increase from .08, to .10, to .159, to .16 or higher.

Penalties and jail time increase with each subsequent DUI, with a look-back period of 10 years:

  • First offense — no minimum jail time required and offenders can be fined $300.
  • Second offense — jail up to 6 months, a fine of $300 to $2,500, and a 12-month license suspension.
  • Third offense — up to 2 years’ jail time, fines of up to $5,000, and a 12-month license suspension.

The new legislation has established the state’s first felony for DUI. It applies when someone has been charged with a third offense in a decade with at least twice the legal limit for alcohol or for any fourth-time offense. There are increased fines and penalties for driving under the influence on a license suspended because of a DUI conviction and longer jail time for those who unintentionally cause someone’s death because of a repeat DUI violation.

Will Tougher Laws Help?

According to Pennlive.com, there are about 250,000 repeat DUI offenders in Pennsylvania and about 140,000 persons whose licenses are currently suspended because of a DUI.

While the new laws provide drivers with an additional reason not to drive while impaired for potential first-time offenders, it may not do much to stop habitual and addicted substance abusers. However, increased penalties may take some of the worst offenders off the road for a longer period of time once they are caught.

If You Are in a Crash

Survivors of a drunk driving accident may be left with serious and debilitating injuries that can change their life forever. Since anyone who operates a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits, DUI drivers must be held responsible for injuries they cause. In addition to criminal charges for being impaired, drivers may be sued for negligence in a civil suit.  If the at-fault driver receives a DUI citation, it can positively affect your civil lawsuit, including allowing you to receive punitive damages, which are not covered by insurance.

Limited Tort

Where drunk drivers are concerned, limited tort options may not apply.  The Financial Responsibility Law is an important and complex piece of legislation which governs recovery where there has been an auto collision.  The equation changes when a drunk driver is involved.  Drunk driving may also lead to punitive damages.

Contact us For Help and Guidance

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or someone has died from a vehicle crash caused by an impaired driver, you are entitled to compensation for your damages. However, Pennsylvania personal injury laws are complex, and insurance companies will try to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible. In order to get the best settlement possible, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process.

The seasoned Pennsylvania DUI personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  He was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.

Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. He is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.

Cliff Rieders wrote “the book” on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the Commonwealth.  Cliff also teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state.  Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in both the financial responsibility medical malpractice fields.  Cliff has testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws and has supported organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Rieders is a Nationally Board-certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States and is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.

Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  He does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Based in Williamsport, the DUI personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann serves clients throughout Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Do not delay. Contact us online or call our offices today to set up your free consultation.

Parking Shortages in Pennsylvania Plague Truckers and Endanger Motorists

The shortage of legal parking spots for truckers is endangering everyone driving on Pennsylvania highways. On the Pennsylvania Turnpike alone, there is a deficit of 890 parking spots for trucks; as a result, frustrated truckers have been leaving their vehicles wherever they can find room, usually alongside the highways.  This creates problems for both truckers and motorists who have to navigate a maze of large vehicles parked where they do not belong.  In addition, trucks pulling back onto the road from unsafe parking can easily cause crashes.

Since the Pennsylvania Turnpike is a popular route for many commercial drivers, the need to address the parking deficit is crucial for the safety of all drivers. The situation has become so bad that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is finally attempting to deal with the issue and discussing the need to create more parking areas for trucks.

Other interstate roads crisscross Pennsylvania including Route 80, Route 81 and new roads running north and south through Williamsport Pennsylvania.   Some of these roads have little or no areas for parking or even refueling of trucks.

Any crash involving largely trucks is likely to be devastating and result in serious injuries or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and have greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles winding up underneath trucks in crashes.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died in a crash involving an illegally parked truck or any other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, due to the complexity and issues involving these accidents, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an attorney experienced in truck crashes, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. 

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to win a good settlement or try the case. Our skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck crash attorneys have represented any number individuals who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

What is Being Done

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation runs a program called P3 which will be used to address the truck parking issues and create a pilot program. To start, the Turnpike Commission has pinpointed the six worst service stations for truck parking along the main turnpike. Those with the fewest parking spaces are:

  • Highspire plaza in Middletown, Dauphin County (9 truck parking spaces)
  • Lawn plaza in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County (14 spaces)
  • Bowmansville plaza in Denver, Lancaster County (13 spaces)
  • Peter J. Camiel plaza in Elverson, Chester County (24 spaces)
  • Valley Forge in Wayne, Delaware County (7 spaces)
  • King of Prussia in King of Prussia, Montgomery County (26 spaces).

In total, there are 93 available spaces between the plazas, which are not enough.  Observers for the program visited these plazas between the prime resting hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., and found 195 trucks parked throughout the six plazas. The most dangerous rest area was Valley Forge, with only seven available parking spaces. When visited, the plaza had 36 trucks parked around it.

To remedy the situation, the turnpike is instituting a pilot program to better manage existing truck parking spaces and provide information to drivers on where available spaces are located. The program will provide real-time information to truckers as they are traveling so they can see what spots are available at the two closest service plazas.

Remember that not all roads are governed by the Turnpike Commission in Pennsylvania.   There are many interstate roads in Pennsylvania such as Routes 80, 81 and north/south roads that are being expanded through Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Some of these roads are more dangerous because they are not governed by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Common Injuries from Truck Accidents

Injuries from trucks and other large vehicle crashes are often severe and may include catastrophic and devastating injuries such as paralysis, brain trauma, broken bones, disfigurement, emotional damage and post traumatic stress syndrome, and, of course, death. If victims survive, their lives may never be the same.

Damages crash victims may be entitled to include:

1) economic damages, which include compensation for past and future medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation expenses, past and future wage loss and wage loss horizon, and other out-of-pocket expenses;

2) It is often said that economic damages are the tip of the iceberg.  Therefore, a person is entitled to claim non-economic damages, including loss of life’s pleasures until death, emotional distress, pain and suffering; and

3) physical impairment and disfigurement and, depending upon the case, other specialized damages.

Family members of victims may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death.

Contact an Attorney at Our Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a truck crash, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. He is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.

One of Cliff Rieders’ books specifically involves the Financial Responsibility Law which governs many considerations with respect to auto/truck and other vehicle collisions in Pennsylvania.

Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

At Rieders Travis, we offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Don’t delay. Contact us today by calling or using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Limousine Safety in Pennsylvania

It was a birthday celebration that turned deadly. A crash involving a limousine in Schoharie, New York, on the afternoon of Saturday, October 6, killed 20 people, including the driver, 17 passengers, and two pedestrians. The limousine failed to come to a stop and lost control while proceeding through a busy intersection.

An investigation showed that the stretch limousine, a converted 2001 Ford Excursion, had failed safety inspections shortly before the crash and was not supposed to be on the road. In inspections made on September 4, Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service, the company which owned the vehicle, had its limos cited for defective brakes, lack of proper emergency exits, flat or balding tires, defective windshield wipers, and other maintenance problems. In addition, the driver was not even licensed to operate the vehicle, as he did not have a commercial driver license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement.

Both the company and the vehicle had been watched by the New York Department of Transportation in the past, but the company still managed to put a defective vehicle on the road driven by a driver without a proper license.

Factors like noncompliance with government regulation and safety standards, driver negligence, human error, equipment malfunction, defective parts, faulty maintenance, or even poorly designed roadways can all increase the risk of a serious or deadly crash.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died in a crash involving a limousine or any other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, due to the complexity and issues involving these accidents, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an attorney experienced in auto/truck crashes, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. 

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to win a good settlement or to go to trial if necessary. Our skilled and experienced Pennsylvania auto accident attorneys have represented any number of individuals who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

Problems with Limousines

Even without defects or violations, there are potential dangers with stretch limousines. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), after-market modifications to a vehicle may affect its structural integrity and safety, and this may potentially increase the risk of serious injuries in a crash. For example, limousines typically feature floor-to-ceiling pillars to help protect passengers, but these may be absent in modified vehicles.

The NTSB’s records show that limousine crashes have killed at least 68 people since 2000.

What Pennsylvania Companies Are Doing

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), a modified vehicle must undergo an enhanced safety inspection at the time the vehicle is modified. In addition, Pennsylvania law requires a CDL for the driver of a limousine designed to transport 16 or more passengers.

In addition, some local limousine companies are taking steps to help prevent crashes.  These include:

  • Examining a ten-year driving record when hiring drivers
  • Monitoring speeds with daily safety logs, which are reviewed regularly by management
  • Inspecting vehicles annually and taking them off the road until problems are fixed.
  • Retrofitting and purchasing vehicles that are safer and with GPS control.

Litigation and Unlawful Death

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a limousine crash you may be entitled to recover damages, including:

1) economic damages, which include compensation for past and future medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation expenses, past and future wage loss and loss of wage horizon, and other out-of-pocket expenses;

2) it is often said economic damage are the tip of the iceberg. Therefore a person is entitled to claim non-economic damages, including loss of life’s pleasures until death, emotional distress, pain and suffering; and

3) physical impairment and disfigurement and, depending upon the case, other specialized damages.

You may have several types of claims, including:

  • negligence of the driver
  • negligence against the owner of the limousine and company
  • negligent entrustment or negligent hiring, training and supervision
  • claims against the manufacturer, retailer, modifier, or maintenance crews of any defective or malfunctioning parts on the limousine.

Contact an Attorney at Our Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a limousine crash, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania auto/truck accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in experience while providing top-notch personal service.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.

One of Cliff Rieders’ books specifically involves the Financial Responsibility Law which governs many considerations with respect to auto/truck and other vehicle collisions in Pennsylvania.

Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.  Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state.  Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field.  Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Rieders is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.

Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Don’t delay. Contact Rieders Travis today by calling or completing our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

The Deadliest Times on Pennsylvania’s Roads

When you take your car on the road, there is always a chance that you could be involved in a crash, no matter what the time of day or year.

According to a 2015 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), there were more than 127,000 auto accidents in 2014 which caused the deaths of 1,200 people, while another 80,004 were injured. Those who survive a crash can wind up with serious injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and paralysis that can maim, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime.

Still, there are times when it is more dangerous to drive than others and when motorists should take extra safety precautions.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WAS INJURED OR SOMEONE HAS DIED IN A VEHICLE CRASH IN PENNSYLVANIA, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER SUCH AS CLIFF RIEDERS OF RIEDERS, TRAVIS, HUMPHREY, WATERS & DOHRMANN, REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.  If another party’s negligence or responsibility was involved in the accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical, hospital and therapy expenses, lost wages, property loss, disfigurement, and loss of life’s enjoyment. However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle accident attorneys have helped a great variety and number of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience with many types of crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

What are the most dangerous times to drive in Pennsylvania?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has statistics breaking down traffic accident information by time, days of the week and months. According to their data, the following are the most dangerous times to drive:

  • Months — May and June are the deadliest months for Pennsylvania Possible reasons include extra people driving on vacation and extra teenagers on the road. The second most dangerous time comes in September and October due to back-to-school traffic and fall deer season, when deer running out in the road cause collisions.
  • Days of the week — Wednesday is the safest day to travel; Friday and Saturday are the most dangerous.
  • Time — The deadliest times are between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., when people are returning home from school and work. The safest time is from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., when there are fewer vehicles on the road.

Many collisions share factors in common.  For example, speeding and alcohol use are both major accident factors, as are holiday weekends, when the roads swell with fatigued and intoxicated drivers coming and going from parties and family get-togethers.

Accidents at Night

It makes sense that when darkness falls, the possibility of crashes increases. According to AAA, about 30% of all serious or fatal car collisions happen between midnight and 3:00 a.m. During the rest of the night, fatal crashes occur four times more often than during the day, even though there are far fewer vehicles on the roads at night.  Reasons include poor visibility at night, fatigue and poor reaction time of sleepy drivers, and increased drinking and drunk driving that occurs at night.

Contact us for Help

No matter what time of day, if you or a loved one is involved in a crash, you need legal assistance to protect your rights and ensure that you get the settlement you are entitled to.  An experienced attorney can make sure that all relevant evidence is immediately identified and documented and can help you deal with insurance companies and handle information, medical bills and treatment.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania vehicle collision and personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in competency while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from collisions and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  He has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex.  Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania. This book is available at www.amazon.com.  Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.

Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many areas of practice, including the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.   Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm in any collision, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or by using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

PA Ranked 29th for Texting Teens

Texting while driving is a major cause of crashes; and teens, already inclined to take risks, are among the worst offenders. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania teens are worse than those in most other states for risky texting behavior. According to a study from the Journal of Adolescent Health that looked at teen texting while driving in the United States, our state ranked No. 29 out of the 35 states surveyed.

The study found that 38 percent of the 200,000 teens surveyed reported texting while driving on at least one day; 22 percent reported texting while driving one to nine days; and 16 percent said they texted 10 to 30 days.

The incidence of texting and driving rose sharply when kids legally drove unsupervised. It also is highest in states with a learner’s permit age of 15 or younger. More than one in five students aged 14 or 15 reported driving before they were eligible for a learner’s permit, and one in six of these drivers had texted while driving. The rate doubled between ages 15 and 16 and continued to rise through age 17 and beyond, and white teens were more likely to text while driving than students of all other races. And the study found that texting is also linked to other risky driving behaviors, including not wearing a seat belt, or drinking and driving.

If you or a loved one was involved in a vehicle crash caused by a teen who was texting or otherwise driving distracted, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.  However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. To ensure that you get the settlement you deserve, you should CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.

The seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle collision attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.   With decades of experience with many types of crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases.

We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Texting and driving

In the less than 4.5 seconds it takes to send a text, a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field and can easily cause a crash.

It is no wonder that, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, driving distractions kill 3,500 people and injure 390,000 in U.S. crashes every year.

In Pennsylvania, distracted driving has been increasing.  According to data by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, there were 5,054 citations in 2017 for offenses related to texting, using a handheld cell phone and wearing or using headphones while driving, up 172 percent from the 1,858 citations issued statewide in 2013.

Since March 2012, Pennsylvania has a law that prohibits all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation.  The law carries a $50 fine and nearly $90 in court costs.

Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania texting ban is inadequate since it doesn’t prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones while their vehicle is in motion.

Drivers must be responsible

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits. Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off driving). Texting involves all three.

To help address the problem, parents of teens should get more involved and provide positive parental role modeling, clear communication of rules around texting, and increased monitoring of teen drivers.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you or a loved one was involved in a crash due to someone else’s negligence due to texting while driving, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and property and other damages.  To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the accident and identify the responsible parties. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania distracted driving personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.   Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

More Than 20 Percent of PA Roads Deemed in “Poor Condition”

Pennsylvania roads are in bad condition, riddled with annoying potholes that can cause vehicle crashes that may damage property and result in serious injuries or even death. Those who survive a crash can wind up with injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, and paralysis that can maim, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime.

Conditions are so bad that a 2017 study by TRIP, a national research transportation group, ranked our state eighth in the country for rural roads in poor condition.  The report found that about 22 percent of Pennsylvania roads were rated as being in poor condition. Pennsylvania was also ranked third for structurally deficient rural bridges and 16th for fatality rate on rural roads.

When poor road conditions and potholes play a part in causing accidents or cause damage to vehicles and injuries to their occupants, you may have a legal claim for damages against the state or local government responsible for maintaining the roads and highways. However, there are special rules for filing a claim against a government entity.  In order to ensure you get the settlement you are entitled to, you should CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.

The seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle collision attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.   With decades of experience with many types of crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases, including those involving government entities.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

What Pennsylvania Law Says

Pennsylvania has specific laws about what you can do if you have been in an accident caused by poor road conditions:

1) State-owned roads

If the road is owned by Pennsylvania, including the PA Turnpike and other state roads:

  • You cannot sue the state for property damage.
  • You can receive money for your injuries, but only if you can prove that PennDot had notice of the road condition and had a reasonable time to fix it and failed to do so.

2) Roads maintained by a local government

  • You can sue for property damage to your vehicle and for serious injuries if you can prove that the local government knew, or should have known, about the condition and had time to fix it.

For both state and local governments, there is a time limit of six months from the date of the crash for you to file a Notice of Claim, which should include the date and location of the accident, details establishing the government’s fault, plus a list of claimed damages.

Proving Liability

It can be difficult determining who is liable for accidents caused by poor road conditions, because there may be other factors involved.  You will have to prove that the road conditions actually caused or contributed to the crash accident and the damages and injuries that resulted.  Even if the road was in poor shape, the agency will likely argue that there were other factors that contributed, such as distracted driving.

If you can show that the poor road conditions did cause your accident, you will have to:

  • Identify the state, local, or private entity responsible for maintaining the roadway.
  • Prove that the entity was negligent and failed to meet its legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe roadway, repair the condition within a reasonable amount of time, or adequately warn drivers of the danger.

Contact us for Help

If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving poor road conditions and potholes, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses.  However, Pennsylvania laws are complex, and your case must be handled correctly and competently or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. 

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania vehicle crash personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence.

Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.  Cliff has authored a number of other textbooks and articles and he frequently teaches the law to other experienced lawyers.

Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. Cliff Rieders is also admitted in New York, the District of Columbia, and, as indicated above, numerous federal courts.  He can offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities – Automakers Aren’t Helping

Emerging technologies are cool and useful, but they can also take drivers down a path of distraction that leads to increased crashes.  Driving while distracted is illegal in 47 states, including Pennsylvania; but people are addicted to their gadgets and technology, and new cars have more of these than ever. As a result, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been studying how to minimize the driving distractions they say kill 3,500 people and injure 390,000 in U.S. crashes every year.

According to the Washington Post the study showed that new vehicle technology involving buttons, touch screens, gesture controls, heads-up displays, and voice commands are often not safe when used while the vehicle is in motion. For example, distractions from Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto shaved crucial seconds from the time that drivers could get their eyes back on the road.

The AAA survey found that almost half of drivers said they make calls and 35 percent sent a text or email while driving. In the less than 4.5 seconds it takes to send a text, a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field and can easily cause a crash.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a crash involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses, past, present and future.  Damages may also cover current and future lost wages, including loss of wage horizon.  Property loss may be covered as well as non-economic compensation, which is often the greatest loss.  Non-economic compensation may be loss of life’s pleasures during one’s life, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and other items.  However, your case must be handled correctly to prove the other driver was at fault or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Pennsylvania Distracted Driving

In the last five years, distraction citations in Pennsylvania have shot up dramatically, according to data by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.  There were 5,054 citations in 2017 for offenses related to texting, using a hand-held cell phone and wearing or using headphones while driving — up from 3,336 the year before, and up 172 percent from the 1,858 citations issued statewide in 2013.

Since March, 2012, Pennsylvania has had a law that prohibits all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation.  The law carries a $50 fine and nearly $90 in court costs.

Unfortunately, the texting ban is inadequate to protect people from drivers, especially teens, who are distracted by handheld devices, because Pennsylvania law doesn’t prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones (even hand-held ones) while their vehicle is in motion.

DRIVERS MUST BE RESPONSIBLE

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off what you’re doing). Texting is particularly dangerous as it involves all three, but so does fiddling with controls for many of the technological features found in newer vehicles.

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits. When drivers devote their attention to anything other than the road, they must be held responsible for any injuries they cause.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION.

If you or a loved one was involved in a crash due to someone else’s negligence caused by driving while distracted, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and property and other damages.  To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the car accident and identify the responsible parties. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania distracted driving attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes.  As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex. Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania. This book is available at www.amazon.com.  Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.   Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

School Bus Safety Reminders for All Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers school buses to be the safest way to transport schoolchildren, but tragic school bus accidents do happen. Thousands of children are injured each year in preventable school bus collisions that can result in serious and debilitating injuries and death.

School bus drivers may not be trained professionals.  They may or may not have the requisite experience.  School bus drivers can be negligent like anyone else.  Crashes may be caused by other drivers, defective buses, poor weather, or by parents and children who do not follow safety rules.

If you, your child, or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a school bus, you may be entitled to a settlement to cover medical, hospital and rehabilitative expenses past, present and future, current and future lost wages and loss of wage horizon, loss of life’s pleasures until the time of death, disfigurement and emotional distress. Property loss may be covered.  All negligent parties, including the school bus driver and the school district, may be liable.  Cases against school districts is difficult because of Pennsylvania’s sovereign immunity laws.

Parents may sue on behalf of their children, and drivers of vehicles who are involved in accidents with school buses may sue as well.  However, there are rules and restrictions involved when suing a State agency such as a school district, so you should seek the help of an attorney experienced with school bus accidents to help you file claims and receive the compensation you deserve.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

What Pennsylvania Law Says

Drivers sharing the road with school buses need to know Pennsylvania laws instituted to promote safety. Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law requires:

  • Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
  • Motorists must stop when they are behind or meeting a bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
  • Motorists alongside a bus must stop until the lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
  • If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in opposing lanes may proceed.

Penalties for anyone convicted of violating the law include:

  • $250 fine
  • Five points on your license
  • 60-day license suspension.

Negligence and Liability

Owners and operators of school buses must ensure that reasonable care is taken to keep students safe, or they may be found negligent and liable for damages. To collect damages from a bus driver or school district, it must be shown that other parties failed to take reasonable care, which contributed to or caused the accident.

Negligent acts might include:

While Pennsylvania school districts are afforded some immunity under Pennsylvania’s laws.  However, there are exceptions to this immunity although there are also caps on damages and other restrictions.  Parents may be able to file a claim on behalf of their minor child if:

  • The child was injured as a result of the actions of a school district employee; and
  • Injuries were caused by someone who was not protected by immunity.

There is a Pennsylvania statute of limitations of two years after the accident date for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died.

There are highly unusual circumstances in which a federal claim can be brought since children may be within the protective realm of a school district.  This is sometimes referred to as “special relationship” criteria.  This is an extremely complex area of the law and has many hurdles to overcome in order to be able to bring a claim under Section 1983 of 42 U.S. Code.

People Worry About Self-Driving Cars

Does the idea of self-driving cars on the road send shivers down your spine?  You are not alone.  According to three different surveys, while most Americans are resigned to the fact that autonomous cars will be common within 15 years, 74 percent do not expect to have one, and two-thirds say they wouldn’t want to walk or ride a bicycle near one.

The surveys show the misgivings people have about the expected increase in self-driving vehicles and the challenges that automakers face in marketing them. The results also point to a need for safety reassurances from federal regulators.

Recent crashes involving the new technology have made the public even more skittish. One highly-publicized example occurred when a self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed a woman walking her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona. A test driver from Uber was behind the wheel of the car at the time, but the car was driving automatically. Also, in Arizona a Waymo test vehicle with a human at the wheel crashed when another motorist swerved into it last month.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a crash that involved a self-driving car or any other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  However, your case must be handled correctly and competently or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

How Safe Should Autonomous Cars Be?

A study published this month in the journal Risk Analysis found that people feel that self-driving vehicles must be 4 to 5 times as safe as human-driven vehicles to be accepted. This is because people’s demand for safety increases when an external factor is involved.

This demand is despite the statistic that human error is believed to cause 94 percent of traffic collisions in the United States. And one of the reasons self-driving vehicles were created in the first place was to help improve road safety and reduce crashes.

Unfortunately, it is neither technologically nor economically feasible to make a “perfectly safe” self-driving vehicle. And while researchers estimate that the current global risk of dying in a traffic accident is 17.4 per 100,000, this rate is 350 times greater than the frequency the study’s participants found acceptable for autonomous vehicles.

This means that while several dozen companies are currently working to develop autonomous cars, before the cars can become commonplace there must be a major change in people’s attitude.  Right now, most of us are still unwilling to ride in an automated vehicle, although younger generations appear to have greater willingness to do so.

Currently, there are no commercially available fully autonomous vehicles. Still, prototypes are undergoing testing, and consumers will most likely regain confidence in the technology as vehicles are improved.

Legal Issues and Concerns

When an accident occurs with self-driving vehicles, numerous legal issues arise.  There is no driver controlling the vehicle, so even if someone is sitting behind the wheel, that person is, in essence, a passenger, and the vehicle itself is the driver.

If an autonomous vehicle is at fault, questions arise as to who is liable for personal injury claims. Consider the following situations:

  • If car problems are the reason for a crash, the manufacturer and/or software companies may be held liable.
  • If parts break, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
  • If driverless software malfunctions, developers such as Google may be liable.

The problem with many claims is that there are various immunities for manufacturers, computer companies and software makers.  The law is complex in this field, and unfortunately the legislature has not yet addressed the relative responsibilities involved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently recognized Google software as the “driver” in their self-driving cars.

  • In cases where there is a function where a human driver can take over, drivers may still be responsible for an accident.

Contact Us For Help and a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one was involved in a crash due to someone else’s negligence, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and property and other damages.  To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the accident and identify the responsible parties.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania pedestrian accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes.  As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex.  Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania. This book is available at www.amazon.com.  Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.   Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Distracted Driving Enforcement Increases in Pennsylvania; Distraction Continues to Be a Problem

Pennsylvania is cracking down on anyone caught driving while distracted, and the number of distracted driving citations is climbing.  Ticketed drivers pay a $50 fine plus $90 for court costs. According to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, citations increased by 52 percent statewide in 2017 and 172 percent since 2013.

The heightened emphasis on distracted driving is for good reason:  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports 1,188 total deaths on Pennsylvania roads in 2016, with distracted driving a contributing factor in 61 of them.

If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving distracted driving, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. This includes medical, hospital and rehabilitation bills that are not covered by first party personal injury protection, lost wages and future wage horizon and other economic expenses.  You may also have a claim for noneconomic damages such as loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, and disfigurement.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex.  Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania.  Your case must be handled correctly and competently or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.  It makes sense to have an experienced distracted-driving attorney on your side to protect your rights and maximize the compensation you receive.

Attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts, the insurance companies, the system, and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. Our attorneys have successfully represented people who have been harmed in crashes involving distracted drivers throughout Pennsylvania.  Contact Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann today by calling for a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your accident, or use our online contact form.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from driving and increases the risk of a crash. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off what you’re doing). Since texting involves all three, it is particularly dangerous. Texting typically takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds, which is like driving the length of an entire football field with eyes closed.

Pennsylvania law prohibits all drivers from texting while driving, which includes sending, reading or writing a text-based message or e-mail, and from wearing or using headphones or earphones while the car is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  (NHTSA) includes activities such as talking, eating or adjusting radios or navigation devices as distracted driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, talking with a passenger could be as distracting as using a phone, and using a speech-to-text system is even more dangerous than using a handheld or hands-free phone.

Pennsylvania Citations

Your chances of receiving a ticket for distracted driving depend on what county you are driving in.  Montgomery County had the highest number of distracted driving citations from 2013 to 2017, with a total of 1,695 citations over those years.

Other top counties for citations are Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Berks counties. Chester County had a total of 963 citations given over that time period, while Bucks County followed closely with 859 citations, Delaware County with 659, and Berks County with 589.

Lycoming County and North Central Pennsylvania counties are crisscrossed by interstate roads, rural roads, and sometimes very bad driving conditions.  Distracted driving is exacerbated by bad roads, speeding truck drivers and unsafe drivers who frequently drink and drive.

Lawsuits Against Distracted Drivers

When drivers devote their attention to anything other than the road, they must be held responsible for any injuries they cause. Evidence that a driver was on a cell phone at the time of an accident is admissible in a lawsuit and may support an award of punitive damages against the distracted driver.  For punitive damages to be awarded, there must be outrageous conduct.  Sometimes punitive damages are not covered by insurance.

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a crash that you suspect was caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence. Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations of two years after the accident for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit, and the sooner you file, the easier it is for your attorney to find witnesses and evidence  to help your case.

Achieving Results When it Counts

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania distracted driving accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to another driver’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.  We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from distracted driving crashes and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.

Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice and is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York and the District of Columbia state courts and many federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s driving negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

ANTI-TRUST-INJURY-UBER

Philadelphia Taxi Ass’n v. Uber Techs, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 7606 (3rd Cir. March 27, 2018). Rendell, C.J. Philadelphia taxicab drivers, aggrieved by the influx of taxis hailed at the touch of an app on one’s phone, brought this antitrust action to protest the entry of Appellee Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) into the Philadelphia taxicab 4 market. The Philadelphia Taxi Association (“PTA”), along with 80 individual taxicab companies (collectively, “Appellants”), appeal the District Court’s dismissal of their Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) alleging one count of attempted monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, and seeking injunctive relief and treble damages under Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15. Appellants urge us to reverse the District Court’s Order, contending that Uber violated the antitrust laws because its entry into the Philadelphia taxicab market was illegal, predatory, and led to a sharp drop in the value of taxicab medallions as well as a loss of profits. They contend that this is evidence that Uber’s operation in Philadelphia was anticompetitive and caused them to suffer an antitrust injury. However, the conduct they allege falls short of the conduct that would constitute an attempted monopoly in contravention of the antitrust laws. Thus, we will affirm the District Court’s dismissal of the SAC for failure to state a claim for attempted monopolization and failure to state an antitrust injury.

Helping Your Teen Navigate the 100 Deadliest Days

New teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a fatal crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” is the time that is particularly dangerous for young drivers.  Teen crashes are 15 percent higher during the summer when teens are out of school and on the road.

Statistics from the AAA study found that for every mile on the road, drivers ages 16-17 years old are:

  • 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash
  • 6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash
  • 5 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a crash
  • 2 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a fatal crash.

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an auto accident involving a teen driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical, hospital and rehabilitation bills – present and future, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of wages, loss of future wages, and loss of life’s pleasures prior to death.  The experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania vehicle crash attorney Clifford A. Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Cliff Rieders knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in vehicle accident cases of all kinds.

We offer a free consultation, so call or contact us online today.

Factors That Lead to Crashes

The AAA cites the following factors that lead to deadly crashes for teen drivers:

  • Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. The top distractions include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and using a smart phone.
  • Not Using Seat Belts: In 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt.
  • Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers and is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.

Teen Driving

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the state licenses young drivers through a three-stage program, reflecting the driver’s gradual progression in skill, experience, and decision-making ability.

1) LEARNER’S PERMIT — After successfully completing a physical examination, vision screening and knowledge test, young drivers may practice driving with adult supervision for one year, with extensions for those requiring more practice time. The young driver must be accompanied by an adult and may not be behind the wheel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless for employment, volunteer or charitable service, with proper documentation.

2) JUNIOR LICENSE — This requires completion of all learner’s permit requirements, including the road test, and still carries restrictions, including the number of allowed passengers and seatbelt requirements.

3) UNRESTRICTED LICENSE — A regular driver’s license – typically issued at age 18 – provides unrestricted driving privileges to teenagers who have gone through the system with an established history of safe driving.

How to Increase Safety

1) Parental Input

The AAA feels that parents are the main defense for preventing teen crashes.  Parents should:

  • Have conversations with their teens about distraction and speeding.
  • Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.
  • Know the rules of the road.
  • Make sure the vehicle is well-maintained.
  • Know how to teach your teen to drive.
  • Start teaching in a low traffic area or a parking lot before more difficult driving.
  • Encourage as much practice as possible.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement with rules for teen drivers.
  • Use PennDOT’s guide for teaching teenagers to drive — The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program guidebook — available at dmv.pa.gov.

2) Teen Safety Tips

PennDOT offers the following safety tips for teenagers:

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Obey the speed limit and rules of the road.
  • Use your turn signals.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Focus on the road and the conditions around you.
  • Do not use your cell phone or eat and drink while driving.
  • Plan ahead. Know where you are going and get directions.’
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get somewhere.
  • Watch other drivers on the roadway and communicate your intentions to them.
  • Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.

Just because a teenager is involved in an accident does not automatically make them negligent.  Teenagers can also be victims of someone else’s negligence, but they may be blamed because of their age.  Every case needs to be examined closely based upon its facts.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

Teens who were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages suffered.  However, Pennsylvania laws are complicated, and it pays to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of teen crashes to fight for your rights.

Cliff Rieders helped to write Pennsylvania’s Financial Responsibility Law, which governs automobile insurance issues in Pennsylvania.  Cliff Rieders has written the book on the subject of the Financial Responsibility Law entitled, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania.  This book is available at www.amazon.com. Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.

Experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center. He was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years and was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.  Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state and teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Cliff served on the American Law Institute Consultative Committee with respect to the Restatement (Third), Products Liability. The American Law Institute proposes rules that are used in many states, sometimes all states in the union. Being a member of the American Law Institute is a great privilege, and Cliff Rieders is a life member.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a car crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Motorcycle Safety Month – Why It Is Important for All Motorists

There are nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, and warm weather brings more of them out on our roads. This increases the possibility of dangerous crashes that affect everyone sharing the road.

In 2014 there were 3,284 motorcycle accidents in our state, and 186 of these accidents were fatal. As a result, Pennsylvania has designated May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  The experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania motorcycle crash attorney Clifford A. Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in vehicle accident cases of all kinds.

We offer a free consultation, so call or contact us online today.

How to Increase Road Safety

The following are suggestions for both motorcyclists and other drivers to help avoid accidents and increase safety on the road for all motorists:

1) Share the Road

All motorists should understand the basic motorcycle riding practices to know how to anticipate and respond to them.

To avoid accidents, motorists should:

  • Stay alert and never drive distracted or impaired.
  • Be aware of motorcycles hidden in a car’s blind spot.
  • Signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance behind motorcycles.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Be aware that motorcycles are harder to see and react to.
  • Share the road responsibly.

2) Get Licensed and Trained

Pennsylvania requires a motorcycle license endorsement to supplement an automobile driver’s license. You need to pass written and on-cycle skills tests.

PennDOT provides free clinics to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. Three clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) — offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license. In addition, there is an Advanced Rider Clinic to increase decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.

3) Practice Operating

Get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding in a controlled area before taking it into traffic. Know how to handle your motorcycle in inclement weather or with hazards such as slick roads, potholes, and road debris.

4) Check Your Motorcycle

Before every ride, check the tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels and under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. Cargo should be secure and balanced, and the suspension and tire pressure adjusted to accommodate the extra weight.

Passengers should not mount until the engine has started. They should sit as far forward as possible, hold on firmly, lean with you, and should keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped.

5) Wear Protection

Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. ANSI or Snell labels are voluntary indicators of helmet quality. Helmets with plastic face shields provide protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars. Wear goggles if you do not have a helmet.

Cover and protect arms and legs by wearing leather or heavy denim, and wear gloves and boots or shoes high enough to cover ankles.  Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material to make you more visible to other drivers.

6) Ride Responsibly

Do not take risks. Ride defensively, as the majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused when drivers did not see the motorcyclist. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave room between your bike and other vehicles. Check behind you and use hand and turn signals before changing lanes.  Intersections are particularly dangerous, so be especially cautious when approaching intersections and making turns. Increase your visibility by using reflective materials on your motorcycle and clothing and by using headlights.

7) Never Ride Distracted or Impaired

Do not drink or take drugs before driving or drive while tired or impaired.  Alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, impair alertness, reduce your reaction time and negatively affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, and ability to shift gears.

8) Use Common Sense

  • Keep a safe distance from other motorists to allow time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Be courteous and responsible — respect other drivers, do not speed; know the local traffic laws and rules of the road.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  Claims for motorcycle accidents are complicated, and it pays to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of motorcycle accidents to fight for your rights.

The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years and was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Cliff Rieders wrote “the book” on financial responsibility law in Pennsylvania.  Rieders has been instrumentally involved in the creation and development of that law since its inception.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.  Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state and teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a car crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

It Is Worth Investing Time to Learn Your Vehicle’s Safety Features

Car crashes kill, maim, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime. According to AAA, the average cost of an injury crash in the United States in 2009 was more than $125,000, while the average cost of a fatal accident was close to $6 million.

Fortunately, safety technology keeps improving, and vehicle manufacturers are making every effort to install features that make driving an easier and safer experience. For years, automakers focused on making vehicles stronger and more able to withstand crashes, but this focus has now shifted to providing technology to avoid accidents and prevent a crash from happening in the first place.

If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a car crash, motorcycle, or truck accident on a Pennsylvania highway, road or street, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding your legal rights. If another party’s negligence or responsibility was involved in the accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property loss, and loss of life’s pleasures. However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania auto accident attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience with many types of auto crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in all kinds of vehicle crashes.

We offer a free consultation so contact us online or at our office.

What Are Important Safety Features?

To increase your chances of avoiding a devastating crash, you should know what safety features your current vehicle has, and — if you are lacking important ones — consider upgrading to a safer model. If you do have these features, make sure you know how they work and how to use them.

The following are some of the most important vehicle safety features to look for:

 1) Forward collision warning.

This system will provide an audible warning to alert you if you approach a slower or stopped vehicle and do not show signs of braking.

2) Automatic emergency braking.

This backs up the collision warning system by automatically applying the brakes to avoid or minimize an impact.

3) Automatic high beams.

Sensors automatically make lights brighter when it is dark and automatically switches the high beams off if a car is detected ahead.

4) Adaptive headlights.

These headlights pivot toward the direction in which you are traveling, improving visibility around curves.

5) Adaptive cruise control.

If you have set your cruise control and get too close to another vehicle, the system will apply the brakes in order to slow your car down so you can continue to follow the vehicle at a safe distance. The system accelerates back to the set speed when it is safe to do so.

6) Blind-spot monitoring.

This system monitors the vehicle’s blind spot and lights up the side mirrors when a vehicle is present. If you activate your turn signal to change lanes while a vehicle is in your blind spot, the lights flash and there is an audible warning.

7) Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

If your vehicle drifts out of its lane, this system warns you with a beep, vibration or visual cue on the instrument panel. If you also have lane keeping assist, it will make a steering correction to keep the car in its lane.

8) Back up cameras and rear cross-traffic alert.

Back up cameras show you what is going on behind you.  When you are backing up, sensors on the rear bumpers detect an approaching vehicle, person or object and warn you that it is there.

9) Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS).

This electronic system monitors the air pressure inside a vehicle’s tires and reports when pressure is low.

Remember, while these safety innovations help, an alert driver who is free of distractions and is driving safely is still the most important factor in avoiding devastating crashes.

Achieving Results When it Counts

If you or a loved one is involved in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.  To make sure you receive what you deserve, you should get legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.

These devices may malfunction.  We have seen that with airbags and other so-called safety devices.  In fact, some of these can become a trap for the unwary.  If a safety device malfunctions, just as if your vehicle malfunctions or is badly designed, then you or your loved one may have a strict liability case.  Cliff Rieders has been instrumental in actually formulating strict liability law in Pennsylvania.  Rieders served on the American Law Institute Restatement (Third) Project which suggested new liability laws in Pennsylvania and the 50 states.  Rieders has written Friend of the Court Briefs in Pennsylvania as to what law should apply on products liability.  In Pennsylvania, products liability law, as in other states, can be very complex and is different than ordinary negligence.    You need to have somebody as your lawyer who is very familiar with this field of practice and the evolving legal developments.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes.  As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Do Sleep Aids Impair Driving Performance?

People who cannot sleep become desperate, so it is not surprising that sleep aids are used by approximately 60 million Americans each year. In addition to prescription drugs, there are many over-the-counter medications used for treating insomnia.

Most common sleep aids help people fall asleep easier and potentially remain asleep for longer. Unfortunately, sometimes the sedative effects last too long and impair functions during the night and the morning after. People can be harmed by nocturnal activities such as sleep-walking and sleep-eating when they do not know what they are doing, and lingering drowsiness during the day can make activities which require alertness, like driving, very hazardous.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a vehicle collision or other side effect from sleep-inducing drugs, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, lost future wage horizon, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of life’s pleasure.  However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Problems With Sleep Aids

While many people are helped by sleeping pills, there can be side effects to taking them, and some are serious. Among the most commonly prescribed drugs that may cause problems are Zolpidem tartrate, the generic name for best-selling Ambien, and Trazodone.

1) Zolpidem

Zolpidem is in the class of medications called sedative-hypnotics and is a common ingredient in the most widely prescribed sleep medications, including Ambien, Edluar, and the oral spray Zolpimist.

Side Effects of Zolpidem include:

  • Parasomnia — unusual behaviors during sleep, including sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep driving, sleep sex, and sleep violence, with no recollection of the behavior upon awakening
  • Depression and a suspected factor in suicide attempts
  • Hallucinations and dissociation or detachment from physical and emotional experiences
  • Addiction if taken too often
  • Worsening of insomnia
  • Increased risk of next-day car accidents.

Some zolpidem drugs, sold as generic or the brand name Ambien CR, contain an extended-release form of zolpidem that stays in the body longer. Studies have shown many people, especially women, who take extended-release zolpidem have drug levels that are high enough to impair driving and other activities the next morning.

As a result of these problems, on January 10, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public of the dangers associated with zolpidem and lowered the recommended dose from 10 to 5 milligrams and to 6.25 milligrams for Ambien CR. The FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has approximately 700 reports of zolpidem use and impaired driving ability and/or traffic accidents. Although those incidents have not been conclusively linked to zolpidem, a number of lawsuits have been filed for personal injury the plaintiffs believe were the result of taking the drug.

2) Trazodone

Trazodone, another drug commonly prescribed for sleep, is even more likely to leave you feeling drowsy the next day, increasing the chance of accidents while driving.

Trazodone was actually approved as an antidepressant by the FDA in 1981. It has never been approved to treat insomnia; and while some studies have shown that trazodone may improve sleep during the first two weeks of treatment, little is known about how well it works or how safe it is past that point for treating chronic insomnia. Still, it is widely prescribed because it is inexpensive and it is not a controlled substance.

Risks of trazodone include:

  • Abnormally low blood pressure, dizziness or fainting, particularly in seniors
  • Heart-rhythm disorders
  • Priapism, or persistent erection, which may require surgery
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents
  • Next day drowsiness, which increases the chance of having an accident while driving.

Sleeping Pill Lawsuits

The FDA has warned that patients who take zolpidem extended-release should not drive or engage in other activities that require complete mental alertness the day after taking the drug. This is because zolpidem levels can remain high enough the next day to impair these activities.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury from taking sleeping pills or from a vehicle crash caused by sleep medication, you may have the right to file a lawsuit for compensation for your damages. Some plaintiffs have already been awarded damages as a result of sleeping pill side effects which were not adequately addressed on drug warning labels. However, proving that damages were linked to sleep aids is difficult; to be successful, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

The seasoned Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  He was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on its Board for 15 years.

Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. He is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.

Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.  Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state.  Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field.  Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Rieders is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States and is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.

Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  He does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

Based in Williamsport, Cliff Rieders and the other trial lawyers at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Motorcycle Safety Month – Why It Is Important for All Motorists

There are nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, and warm weather brings more of them out on our roads. This increases the possibility of dangerous crashes that affect everyone sharing the road.

In 2014 there were 3,284 motorcycle accidents in our state, and 186 of these accidents were fatal. As a result, Pennsylvania has designated May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  The experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania motorcycle crash attorney Clifford A. Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann can help by making sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement.  Our seasoned Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases. Our lawyers have successfully represented clients in vehicle accident cases of all kinds.

We offer a free consultation, so call or contact us online today.

How to Increase Road Safety

The following are suggestions for both motorcyclists and other drivers to help avoid accidents and increase safety on the road for all motorists:

1) Share the Road

All motorists should understand the basic motorcycle riding practices to know how to anticipate and respond to them.

To avoid accidents, motorists should:

  • Stay alert and never drive distracted or impaired.
  • Be aware of motorcycles hidden in a car’s blind spot.
  • Signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Keep a safe distance behind motorcycles.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Be aware that motorcycles are harder to see and react to.
  • Share the road responsibly.

2) Get Licensed and Trained

Pennsylvania requires a motorcycle license endorsement to supplement an automobile driver’s license. You need to pass written and on-cycle skills tests.

PennDOT provides free clinics to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. Three clinics – the Beginning Rider Clinic (BRC), the Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC), and the 3-Wheel Riding Clinic (3WRC) — offer a pathway to earning a motorcycle license. In addition, there is an Advanced Rider Clinic to increase decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.

3) Practice Operating

Get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding in a controlled area before taking it into traffic. Know how to handle your motorcycle in inclement weather or with hazards such as slick roads, potholes, and road debris.

4) Check Your Motorcycle

Before every ride, check the tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels and under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. Cargo should be secure and balanced, and the suspension and tire pressure adjusted to accommodate the extra weight.

Passengers should not mount until the engine has started. They should sit as far forward as possible, hold on firmly, lean with you, and should keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped.

5) Wear Protection

Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. ANSI or Snell labels are voluntary indicators of helmet quality. Helmets with plastic face shields provide protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars. Wear goggles if you do not have a helmet.

Cover and protect arms and legs by wearing leather or heavy denim, and wear gloves and boots or shoes high enough to cover ankles.  Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material to make you more visible to other drivers.

6) Ride Responsibly

Do not take risks. Ride defensively, as the majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused when drivers did not see the motorcyclist. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave room between your bike and other vehicles. Check behind you and use hand and turn signals before changing lanes.  Intersections are particularly dangerous, so be especially cautious when approaching intersections and making turns. Increase your visibility by using reflective materials on your motorcycle and clothing and by using headlights.

7) Never Ride Distracted or Impaired

Do not drink or take drugs before driving or drive while tired or impaired.  Alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, impair alertness, reduce your reaction time and negatively affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, and ability to shift gears.

8) Use Common Sense

  • Keep a safe distance from other motorists to allow time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Be courteous and responsible — respect other drivers, do not speed; know the local traffic laws and rules of the road.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you were involved in a crash due to the negligent behavior of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered.  Claims for motorcycle accidents are complicated, and it pays to have the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the legal aspects of motorcycle accidents to fight for your rights.

The experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome and have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years and was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Cliff Rieders wrote “the book” on financial responsibility law in Pennsylvania.  Rieders has been instrumentally involved in the creation and development of that law since its inception.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.  Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state and teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a car crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

ANTI-TRUST-INJURY-UBER

Philadelphia Taxi Ass’n v. Uber Techs, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 7606 (3rd Cir. March 27, 2018). Rendell, C.J. Philadelphia taxicab drivers, aggrieved by the influx of taxis hailed at the touch of an app on one’s phone, brought this antitrust action to protest the entry of Appellee Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) into the Philadelphia taxicab 4 market. The Philadelphia Taxi Association (“PTA”), along with 80 individual taxicab companies (collectively, “Appellants”), appeal the District Court’s dismissal of their Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) alleging one count of attempted monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2, and seeking injunctive relief and treble damages under Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15. Appellants urge us to reverse the District Court’s Order, contending that Uber violated the antitrust laws because its entry into the Philadelphia taxicab market was illegal, predatory, and led to a sharp drop in the value of taxicab medallions as well as a loss of profits. They contend that this is evidence that Uber’s operation in Philadelphia was anticompetitive and caused them to suffer an antitrust injury. However, the conduct they allege falls short of the conduct that would constitute an attempted monopoly in contravention of the antitrust laws. Thus, we will affirm the District Court’s dismissal of the SAC for failure to state a claim for attempted monopolization and failure to state an antitrust injury.

Drivers Are Addicted to Distracting Activities – Automakers Aren’t Helping

Emerging technologies are cool and useful, but they can also take drivers down a path of distraction that leads to increased crashes.  Driving while distracted is illegal in 47 states, including Pennsylvania; but people are addicted to their gadgets and technology, and new cars have more of these than ever. As a result, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been studying how to minimize the driving distractions they say kill 3,500 people and injure 390,000 in U.S. crashes every year.

According to the Washington Post the study showed that new vehicle technology involving buttons, touch screens, gesture controls, heads-up displays, and voice commands are often not safe when used while the vehicle is in motion. For example, distractions from Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto shaved crucial seconds from the time that drivers could get their eyes back on the road.

The AAA survey found that almost half of drivers said they make calls and 35 percent sent a text or email while driving. In the less than 4.5 seconds it takes to send a text, a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field and can easily cause a crash.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a crash involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses, past, present and future.  Damages may also cover current and future lost wages, including loss of wage horizon.  Property loss may be covered as well as non-economic compensation, which is often the greatest loss.  Non-economic compensation may be loss of life’s pleasures during one’s life, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and other items.  However, your case must be handled correctly to prove the other driver was at fault or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Pennsylvania Distracted Driving

In the last five years, distraction citations in Pennsylvania have shot up dramatically, according to data by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.  There were 5,054 citations in 2017 for offenses related to texting, using a hand-held cell phone and wearing or using headphones while driving — up from 3,336 the year before, and up 172 percent from the 1,858 citations issued statewide in 2013.

Since March, 2012, Pennsylvania has had a law that prohibits all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation.  The law carries a $50 fine and nearly $90 in court costs.

Unfortunately, the texting ban is inadequate to protect people from drivers, especially teens, who are distracted by handheld devices, because Pennsylvania law doesn’t prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones (even hand-held ones) while their vehicle is in motion.

DRIVERS MUST BE RESPONSIBLE

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off what you’re doing). Texting is particularly dangerous as it involves all three, but so does fiddling with controls for many of the technological features found in newer vehicles.

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits. When drivers devote their attention to anything other than the road, they must be held responsible for any injuries they cause.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION.

If you or a loved one was involved in a crash due to someone else’s negligence caused by driving while distracted, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, loss of life’s enjoyment, and property and other damages.  To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the car accident and identify the responsible parties. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania distracted driving attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes.  As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Pennsylvania auto laws are complex. Pennsylvania is governed by the Financial Responsibility Law.  Cliff Rieders has a great deal of experience in this field of the law and was involved in its creation.  Rieders wrote the book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania. This book is available at www.amazon.com.  Cliff Rieders teaches the subject of motor vehicle insurance laws to experienced attorneys in Pennsylvania.Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.  Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.   Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Time for Transportation to Take Sleep Apnea Seriously

Sleep apnea can be a cause of vehicle crashes, so it has been a major concern for transportation safety advocates for years. The condition causes fatigue, and commercial drivers who are fatigued can doze off, a dangerous situation when they are driving large commercial vehicles or trains.

The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million Americans have sleep apnea and that 80 percent of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) cases are undiagnosed. A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, concluded that 41 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers could have OSA. And a March 2016 study from the University of Minnesota, Morris, found that drivers who do not follow their prescribed treatment for OSA are five times more likely to be involved in a crash than other drivers.

Recently, sleep apnea led to two commuter railroad accidents within 13 weeks of one another.  In September 2016, a New Jersey Transit train failed to stop and struck a wall of the terminal, killing one woman and injuring 110 other people. In January 2017, a Long Island Rail Road commuter train  crashed into a room beyond the end of the track, leaving 108 people injured and damage estimated at $5.3 million.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that both accidents involved engineers who had issues with obstructive sleep apnea. The agency found OSA to be the probable cause of 10 highway and rail accidents investigated by the NTSB in the past 17 years.

 

What is Sleep Apnea?

The term “sleep apnea” refers to interruptions in breathing during sleep. During sleep, the brain normally instructs breathing muscles to take a breath. But muscles that hold the airway open relax during sleep, and sometimes tissue in the back of the throat collapses, blocking the airway and preventing air from getting to the lungs. Oxygen levels decrease and carbon dioxide levels increase, causing the person to awaken in order to breathe.  Sleep is interrupted and fragmented, causing daytime fatigue.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  1. Central sleep apnea (CSA) — the brain fails to send the signal to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep.
  2. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — the brain sends the signal to the muscles, but the airway is obstructed and prevents an adequate flow of air.
  3. Mixed sleep apnea — both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

Complications of obstructive sleep apnea include high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, insomnia and daytime sleepiness, anxiety, irritability, headaches,  and difficulty concentrating, thinking, remembering and performing work duties.  These complications can and do contribute to vehicle crashes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated, but many people are unaware they have it. Sometimes a spouse or partner will observe a person stop breathing, then snore loudly and gasp for air. People who suspect OSA can be diagnosed and evaluated by history, physical examination and sleep studies called polysomnography.

There are nonsurgical treatments that include behavior therapy, weight loss, medications, dental appliances, and machines that provide continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to keep the throat from collapsing. Surgical treatments include nasal, throat, and bariatric surgery.

What Can Be Done

Unfortunately, although a regulation on OSA was proposed, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have withdrawn an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the condition. These agencies stated that current safety programs for fatigue risk management are appropriate avenues to address OSA.

The FRA endorses the voluntary North American Fatigue Management Program to commercial motor vehicle drivers and employers. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 states that railroads must institute fatigue management plans as part of Risk Reduction Programs or System Safety Programs.

The FMCSA requires that truck drivers be medically qualified before being certified to drive and that untreated OSA can serve as a basis for denying qualification. Carriers who allow their drivers to be on the road with OSA can and have been held liable for truck accidents caused by related driver fatigue.

Achieving Results When it Counts

If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a crash involving sleep apnea due to someone else’s negligence or responsibility, you should immediately consult an EXPERIENCED PENNSYLVANIA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER regarding your legal rights and possibility of receiving financial compensation.

Preventing Crashes on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is traditionally a time when friends and family get together for great football, fun, food and drink. Unfortunately, the celebration can end in tragedy for the many people who wind up in drunk-driving crashes on their way home from a party.

According to Snopes, crash rates increase by 41 percent after the game is over, and as much as 70 percent in the first hour after the Super Bowl. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 40% of motor vehicle accident fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday stem from drunk driving. (NHTSA.gov/impaired)

Pennsylvania roads and highways abound with crashes, even without the extra impetus from the Super Bowl. Those who survive a crash can wind up with serious injuries that can main, disfigure, and cause pain and suffering that may last a lifetime.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WAS INJURED OR SOMEONE HAS DIED IN A VEHICLE CRASH IN PENNSYLVANIA YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS. If another party’s negligence or irresponsibility was involved in the accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical, hospital and therapy expenses, lost wages, property loss, disfigurement, and loss of life’s enjoyment. However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. Our seasoned Pennsylvania vehicle accident attorneys have helped hundreds of people file successful personal injury lawsuits. With decades of experience with many types of crashes and an excellent reputation in the legal community, we are well positioned to handle even the most difficult cases.

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent a crash from happening in the first place.

Steps to Take to Prevent Problems

You can enjoy the Super Bowl fun — and help ensure that all ends well after the game — by being proactive and taking steps recommended by the NHTSA in its pre-Super Bowl campaign to fight impaired driving, “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.” The following are some recommendations:
1) If you are attending a Super Bowl Party:

  • Plan your route ahead of time, including where to park, where you may encounter traffic, whether the weather will be a problem. Look for alternate, less-heavily traveled roads.
  • If you are drinking, designate your sober driver beforehand and give that person your keys. Help arrange rides for others.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Eat food, and alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic drinks such as soda and water.
  • If you have had too many drinks, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off.
  • Take any impaired friend’s keys and make sure they don’t drive until sober.

2) If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party:

  • Serve lots of food, high-protein dishes, and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Serve only one drink at a time and stop serving alcohol at the beginning of the third quarter, serving coffee and dessert instead.
  • Check on your drinking guests to make sure they have designated drivers. If not, arrange rides for them or offer to let them stay the night. Keep the numbers for cab companies and car services such as Uber and Lyft handy.
  • Take the keys away from anyone who is about to drive while impaired, letting them know that you are concerned for their safety.

What to Do In A Crash

Even if you take every precaution, you are still in a position of risk if you are driving on Super Bowl Sunday. If you wind up in a crash and are injured by a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver, you should seek the help of an experienced vehicle crash personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania laws are complex and include a comparative-fault rule and a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Insurance companies will try tactics such as trying to shift responsibility or getting you to accept the lowest settlement, and our attorneys have the skills and experience to help ensure you get the best settlement possible.

Achieving Results When it Counts

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania drunk driving accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our sizeable staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from vehicle crashes. As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice, including the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Additionally, he has written a book about financial responsibility law issues in Pennsylvania, discussing full tort election and limited tort options, first-party benefits and other topics that may come into play in a drunk driving case.

Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a car crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259, or by using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

A Look at Pet Peeves Over Pennsylvania Drivers

Driving on Pennsylvania roads can be difficult under the best of circumstances, but when other drivers do something that interferes with your safety, it may result in more than aggravation — it could end in a crash causing injuries or even death.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) annual Crash Facts & Statistics Report for 2014, there were five main causes of crashes that year:

  1. Speeding, which caused over 32,000 auto accidents, with 434 fatal.
  2. Distracted driving, which caused just under 14,000 auto accidents, with 49 fatal.
  3. Improper turning, which caused over 12,000 accidents, with 72 fatal.
  4. Drunk driving, which caused over 9,600 accidents, with 188 fatal.
  5. Proceeding without clearance, i.e., failing to yield the right of way, which caused about 7,900 auto accidents, with 69 fatal.

If you or a loved one has been injured or if someone has died in a crash involving another person’s driving errors, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. This includes medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation, future surgeries, lost past, present and future wages and wage horizons, and other economic expenses. Depending upon your rights under the Financial Responsibility Law, you may be entitled to money for non-economic damages such as loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, disfigurement, humiliation, and the like.

Pennsylvania laws are complex, and your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. Insurance companies will try tactics such as trying to shift responsibility or getting you to accept the lowest settlement, it makes sense to get legal representation before you talk to an insurance company in order to protect your rights and maximize the compensation you receive.

Cliff Rieders is the author of the Financial Responsibility Law book in Pennsylvania available on amazon.com. This book is a compendium of laws and bills in Pennsylvania. We see many people who are not properly advised with respect to the reach and applicability of the Financial Responsibility Law, and hence do not get the coverage or reimbursement they deserve. We see it all the time. Knowledge of the Financial Responsibility Law and dealing with the insurance carriers for the party at fault, your own insurance company and for underinsurance, are crucial issues.

Attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts, the insurance companies, the system, and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement. Our attorneys have successfully represented people who have been harmed in crashes involving negligent drivers throughout Pennsylvania. Contact Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann today by calling 1-800-326-9259 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form

Driving Pet Peeves

Everyone has their own pet peeves about things drivers do on Pennsylvania roads that cause us to risk our lives each time we get behind the wheel. Here are some of the most common things that upset and endanger other drivers:

  • Speeding is the largest cause of crashes and fatalities. People who driving too fast for road conditions are courting disaster as any false move can cause speeding vehicles to get out of control. Stopping distances increase exponentially with increased speed, and speeding can make it impossible to stop or steer away from a sudden obstacle.
  • Distracted Driving. Anyone talking on the phone, sending text messages, fiddling with controls, eating and drinking, or applying cosmetics while driving is distracted and not paying attention to the road, traffic conditions, other drivers, so can easily lose control. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10% (3,050) of S. fatal crashes in 2012 were reported as distraction-affected.
  • Fatigued Drivers. Drivers who are fatigued are not alert and can fall asleep while driving and run off the road and crash into other vehicles, objects and people. Most car accidents attributed to fatigued drivers happen between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., although people can be fatigued at any hour, depending on their life styles and work schedules. Truck drivers who work long hours or multiple shifts are often fatigued, and no one wants to be around them if they lose control.
  • Driving too close to another vehicle is a frequent cause of accidents if the leading vehicle has to make a sudden stop or maneuver. The safe distance for following another vehicle varies depending on speed, weather, visibility and other road conditions, and drivers must increase the distance between vehicles as speed increases or conditions worsen.
  • Driving too slowly in the left lane. Slow drivers should use the right lane. The middle lane is the truck passing lane and also used for other vehicles trying to pass slow vehicles. Slow drivers occupying passing lanes cause other drivers to become irate and attempt dangerous maneuvers like passing on the right.
  • Drunk driving. Drunk driving is a major cause of car crashes that kill and maim people throughout Pennsylvania. The department of transportation (PennDOT) reported 127,127 vehicular accidents in 2015 that resulted in 1,200 deaths, and 345 of these deaths resulted from crashes involving alcohol.
  • Moving violations, including unsafe merging, unsafe turning, failure to yield the right of way, unsafe or frequent lane changes. All of these moving violations are illegal, cause accidents, and lead to problems for drivers of other vehicles.
  • Social media distractions and equipment installed in vehicles themselves that provide information to drivers can be extremely distracting. Many cars these days permit drivers to access the internet, to make restaurant reservations, and to call their friends. These devices may be used improperly and at the wrong times by drivers, and oftentimes bad behavior is encouraged by the manufacturers and retailers of automobiles. Many of the new devices on cars to enhance safety do not always operate properly and can cause serious injury and death.

Pennsylvania Laws for Car Crashes

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you should consult an experienced Pennsylvania car crash attorney as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations of two years after the accident for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit, so you must file a lawsuit promptly, and the sooner you file, the easier it is for your attorney to find witnesses and evidence to help your case. The statute of limitations may be different under the Financial Responsibility Law for claims against your own insurance company either for bad faith, underinsurance, or the rights which you may have. Talk to an attorney who knows what they are doing.

Achieving Results When it Counts

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania vehicle accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to another driver’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service. We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from driving crashes. As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice and teaches at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice. Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Advocate, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center. Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. The attorney is an active trial lawyer, speaker and writer. He is also a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, on which he served for 15 years and received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s driving negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259, or by using our online contact form. Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Are Construction Zone Dangers a Problem in Pennsylvania?

You Bet They Are!

Construction zones are disasters waiting to happen. People who speed through construction zones greatly increase the danger of being involved in a crash. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) statistics, there have been 9,383 crashes, 6,249 injuries, and 101 fatalities reported in work zones in the past five years. While those injured are often workers, drivers and passengers are most likely to be the ones injured or killed in construction zone crashes.

PennDOT is responsible for 40,000 miles of roadway and 25,000 bridges and follows federal standards for setting up traffic control in a work zone. Pennsylvania has its own laws and regulations which must be complied with. Sometimes there are even private standards that apply. Most work zone crashes take place on state highways and interstates. Long-term makeovers, such as the current one at the Interstate 83/Mount Rose Avenue interchange, and numerous Route 80 repairs, are major danger points.  Construction sites are potentially dangerous even on rural roads. During the day, crews work behind concrete barriers to allow traffic to flow, but at night, it’s often only cones that separate the vehicles from the workers. Truckers are some of the worst offenders. Some truck drivers will deliberately cut-off cars in order to race into a one-lane construction zone. Other times, truck drivers will deliberately slow down, acting in concert, to cut-off automobiles from passing the trucks as they enter a one-lane zone. Some behavior by truck drivers is absolutely criminal, literally criminal.

Motorists, construction companies and their workers who follow traffic rules and signs lessen chances of crashes, but those who speed or act unsafely endanger everyone. If their negligence results in serious harm, permanent damage or death, they must be held responsible. Construction companies often do not comply with sign and flagging requirements. Many construction companies are sloppy, negligent, or even deliberately indifferent. They may let or encourage truck drivers to enter highways without proper warning, signs, or other ways of alerting motorists to construction traffic.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from a work-zone crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical and hospital bills, lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, disfigurement. Your case must be handled correctly, competently, and by someone who is experienced. You may never collect the compensation you are entitled to if the lawyer is not up to speed on the law. There are also issues of subrogation. Sometimes insurance companies are entitled to their money back that they have paid out for medical care. This could differ if the plan is a federal plan, under ERISA, as opposed to a state plan. This area of the law is extremely complex; do not fool around with it yourself.

Clifford A. Rieders wrote the book Financial Responsibility Law in Pennsylvania. It is the financial responsibility law which has a lot to do with responsibility when there are road collisions. However, there is much about the law beyond the Financial Responsibility Act which concerns rights and responsibilities in construction zones.

Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of winning a good settlement or verdict. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today by calling 800-326-9259 or by using our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Causes of Construction-Zone Crashes

Work-zone crashes may be cause by negligent motorists who are speeding or distracted by a phone, a passenger, eating, or fiddling with controls and equipment while driving, or who do not pay attention to signs. Crashes may also be caused by negligence from construction companies or independent contractors who fail to follow state or federal safety regulations. Trucking companies and truckers themselves are a major cause of crashes. Many truck drivers act as though the roads are their own personal domain and they have very little respect for drivers. Trucking accidents on the highway and in construction zones is a major cause of injury among Pennsylvania drivers. Common causes of collisions include:

  • Lack of advance warning signs; inadequate number or improper placement of barricades
  • Construction vehicles pulling out into traffic
  • Misdirection of traffic through a construction zone
  • Inadequate lighting or traffic buffer space
  • Construction debris, equipment, machinery or supplies in the roadway
  • Defective or improperly repaired roadways, uneven or shifting lanes, steep drop-offs, potholes and ruts
  • Poorly trained work-zone crew
  • Negligent, incompetent behavior of truck drivers, other vehicles, and those who do not respect construction zones.

Pennsylvania Work-Zone Safety (WZS) Laws

WZS laws punish drivers who disobey posted signs in areas with road construction, and they are strictly enforced. The following laws come from PennDOT’s website.

  • Headlights. All motorists are required to travel with their headlights on in all posted work zones, even if not active. Drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights must turn on their headlights to activate taillights.
  • Speed-monitoring devices. Interstate work zones with a project cost exceeding $300,000 will have a speed-monitoring device to alert motorists of their speed prior to entering the work zone.
  • Posting of Active Work Zones– Active work zones must tell drivers when they enter and leave a work zone. A flashing light on the “Active Work Zone When Flashing” sign should be turned on only when workers are present.
  • Fifteen-Day Loss of License for Driving Dangerously. Driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit sign or involvement in a car accident in an active work zone while speeding means losing your license for 15 days.
  • Fines Doubled/Jail Time Increased– Fines for certain traffic violations – including speeding more than 5 mph over the posted speed limit, driving under the influence, and not obeying traffic laws – are doubled for active work zones. Conviction for killing someone in a work zone while driving drunk means five additional years of jail time.
  • Causing serious bodily injury in a work zone brings fines up to $5,000 and a six-month license suspension, and if death is involved, up to a $10,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

WORK-ZONE SAFETY TIPS

The following tips for drivers will help ensure work-zone safety:

  • Observe the posted work-zone speed limit.
  • Stay alert, avoid distractions, and pay close attention to signs and flaggers.
  • Turn on your headlights if signs instruct you to do so.
  • Maintain a safe distance around vehicles.
  • Use four-way flashers when stopped or traveling slowly.
  • Expect the unexpected and be patient.
  • Stay clear of construction vehicles and workers.
  • Stay off cell phones, iPads and available on many modern automobile systems.

What to Do In Case of a Collision

Construction companies, independent contractors and state and federal agencies involved in road construction are all obligated to provide a safe work-zone environment for both workers and motorists. If you or a loved one was involved in a construction zone crash due to someone else’s negligence, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical costs, and other damages. To protect your rights and maximize compensation, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to determine the cause of the accident and identify the responsible parties before you talk to insurance companies, which will try tactics such as trying to shift responsibility or getting you to accept the lowest settlement.

Achieving Results When it Counts

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania work-zone accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our sizeable staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

We have years of experience dealing with the harm that results from construction-zone crashes. As a result, we have been successful in securing substantial recoveries for legitimate claims.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and a Past President of the Federal Bar Association, Central Pennsylvania region. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  He is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate. The attorney has written many textbooks, including on the Financial Responsibility Law which governs truck and automobile accidents in Pennsylvania. The book is available on amazon.com. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence or incompetence in a construction-zone crash, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259 or by using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Is Pennsylvania Law Too Lenient on Dangerous Drivers?

Are Pennsylvania’s driving laws too lenient on dangerous drivers? Does this lead to increased numbers of driving accidents and fatalities? According to a study by online personal finance resource Wallet Hub, Pennsylvania was ranked as the third most lenient state in the country for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) penalties.

The study looked at 15 different categories and assigned points for factors such as jail time, fines and the use of an ignition interlock device in order to calculate a score. Out of a maximum 55 points, Pennsylvania tallied just 13 points. And according to the Pennsylvania State Police Uniform Crime Reports data, between 2009 and 2013 the number of DUI arrests in the state decreased by 10.6 percent to 49,714 from 55,623.  In addition, the study found that Pennsylvania does not have an administrative license suspension law which would allow authorities to confiscate a license before a driver’s conviction.

While this study makes it appear that Pennsylvania laws are too lenient, this may not really be the case. Part of the reason for the low rating is the way the study was done. The state received a zero rating for not having a minimum jail time for a first offense. However, the study did not take into account that Pennsylvania has a three-tier grading and sentencing system based on the offender’s blood alcohol content level (BAC). The higher the BAC, the stiffer the penalties and fines.

Whether or not you believe that Pennsylvania laws are too lenient, if you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in a vehicle accident where someone else was at fault, you are entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has a long history of results and can help you get the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine the best way to handle your individual case.

Driving Laws in Pennsylvania

The following are some of the major laws regarding drivers in Pennsylvania:

DUI Laws

Pennsylvania prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with .08 percent or above blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  There are lower BAC limits for commercial drivers (.04 percent) and a “zero tolerance” or .02 percent BAC for drivers under the age of 21. There are a series of penalty tiers, depending on the driver’s BAC of .08, .10 to .159%, and .16 or higher. The law also includes controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants.

While Pennsylvania has no minimum jail time for a first offense and only a $300 fine, a third offense brings up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and a license suspension of one year.  The lookback period for previous offenses is 10 years.

Pennsylvania law also calls for installation of an ignition interlock device for a year for repeat offenders and for first-time offenders who refuse to take a chemical test.

The Implied Consent Law

Pennsylvania has an “Implied Consent” law, stating that all drivers agree to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if an officer of the law suspects that they are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both. Refuse to take the test results in a driver’s license suspension for one year on the first refusal.

Controlled Substance Law

In Pennsylvania, people are guilty of DUI if they drive with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or a metabolite under the Controlled Substance Act in the blood, or under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs and/or alcohol to a degree which impairs ability to safely drive. 75 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 3802(d)(1)-(3) (West 2010).

Sobriety Checkpoints

Pennsylvania allows law enforcement to conduct sobriety checkpoints under the state and federal constitutions.

Moving Violation and Speeding

In Pennsylvania, points are added to a license for each conviction of committing a moving violation. Over 6 points means a suspended license until passing a safe-driving exam. A second 6 points means the license will be suspended for 15 days, and 30 days for a third 6 points.  Driving 31 mph or more over the limit brings 6 points.

Anti-Texting Law

Pennsylvania law prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. It states that drivers are banned from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving without having to witness another moving violation.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you suspect your accident and subsequent injuries were caused by a negligent driver or one who violated Pennsylvania driving laws, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

Financial Responsibility Law

Pennsylvania’s laws in connection with recovery are more complex than the consumer may think. When a person is in an automobile or truck accident, there is a question of first-party medical benefits, insurance, possibly umbrella coverage, and either uninsurance or underinsurance motorist coverage. Cliff Rieders has written a book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania.  The subject is difficult, and many adjusters will give you the wrong information.  They are either misleading you, they are from another state, or they simply do not know. Cliff Rieders receives many phone calls from lawyers who find the complexities of the intertwined laws confusing. Sometimes people do not understand the difference between limited or full tort and when limited tort may not apply at all.  Do not handle these matters yourself. Make sure you obtain, talk to and meet with an experienced and knowledgeable trial lawyer.

The experienced personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 1-877-962-9411 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field.  Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Mobile Phone Carelessness and Negligence Play a Role in Auto Collisions

Driving while distracted can be life-threatening, especially if the distraction involves a cell phone. According to new data collected by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) from hundreds of thousands of drivers using its app, more than half of all vehicle crashes included some form of distraction from a mobile phone. In nearly a quarter of the crashes, the driver was using a phone within a minute before the crash occurred, and perhaps even at the moment of the crash. This is not surprising, since composing a typical text message is like closing one’s eyes for nearly five seconds, during which time a vehicle going 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field.

The data supports the view that smartphones have made the nation’s highways more dangerous. And it also suggests that the laws that have been enacted so far against using phones while driving have not solved the problem.

How often have you been sitting in your own car and seen somebody flying around a corner, or driving down the road, while talking on their phone or playing with their phone? It is a fact of life, that while laws exist, too many people are addicted to their phones or somehow think they can use them while driving their cars. Insane!

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured because of a distracted driver, you deserve to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. The experienced and compassionate automobile/truck personal injury lawyer Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has a long history of results and can help. We offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine the best way to handle your individual case.

Pennsylvania Distracted Driving Laws

The National Safety Council states that texting while driving causes 1.6 million crashes per year. Fortunately, since March, 2012, Pennsylvania has a law that prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. It states that drivers are banned from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving, without having to witness another moving violation. The law carries a $50 fine and nearly $90 in court costs.

Automobile Association of America (AAA) statistics show that during the first year of the texting-while-driving ban, some 1,302 citations were issued in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, while the texting ban is a step in the right direction, it is inadequate to protect people from drivers, especially teens, distracted by handheld devices since Pennsylvania law doesn’t prohibit drivers from talking on their cell phones while their vehicle is in motion. This is a problem that has caused some of our representatives to call for stricter laws, proposing bans on hand-held cell phones as well as texting.

According to a 2013 survey by The Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 2013, police officers are challenged by bans that apply only to teenage drivers; secondary enforcement laws that require police to have some other reason to stop a vehicle before citing the driver for cellphone law violations; and the difficulty of discerning whether a motorist is engaged in illegal texting compared with a behavior that is permitted, such as dialing a phone. Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found texting bans work best when they are accompanied by an overall ban on handheld phone use, making enforcement easier.

Since mobile phones have built-in GPS, they can actually “know” when they are being moved. They may not know who is driving the car, of course. It is possible to utilize an interlock device so that the person sitting in the driver’s seat would not be able to use the cell phone; the cell phone would shut down. This may be an absolute necessity as the carnage of driving while using cell phones increases.

Can smartphones modify driving behavior?

CMT believes that smartphones could modify driving behavior. The company’s apps accumulate driver data in six categories, including phone use while driving, speeding, braking, acceleration, cornering and time of driving. CMT claims that sharing this information with users makes them better drivers because they can achieve behavioral change through immediate and ongoing feedback.

By gathering the data and giving drivers feedback, the company says the app has reduced phone distraction by 35 percent after a month and by 40 percent after two months.

The risk of CMT is that it will not be used responsibly, or the data will not be gathered at the right time and place. It should never be used while driving, obviously. Unfortunately, not only mobile phones, but electronic equipment in cars encourages drivers to use them while they are driving. Many cars have not only cell phone access, but also internet, maps, and a variety of other distractions encouraging negligence and carelessness on the road.

Drivers Must Be Responsible

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is required to drive responsibly and practice safe driving habits. When drivers devote their attention to anything other than the road, they must be held responsible for any injuries they cause.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract the driver from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off what you’re doing). Since texting involves all three, it is particularly dangerous. (Source: Distraction.gov)

Being “responsible” is not enough. Manufacturers of automobiles, devices, apps and electronics must discourage and actually prevent their use by the person in the driver’s seat. All this is technologically feasible today. We are talking now about driverless cars and cars that can fly. Before such contrivances make their way out of factory doors, we should consider and pass laws that disable electronic equipment from being used at all by someone in the driver’s seat. Another danger is that, as cars become more autonomous, people will rely upon the electronic wizardry to protect them from a collision. Many times this makes the driver even more distracted, careless and negligent. Likewise, the equipment itself may fail. Airbags fail, and certainly electronic equipment designed to run the car, make it safer, or to avoid crashes may actually cause collisions to occur.

Injured in an accident? Get a free consultation.

If you suspect your accident and subsequent injuries were caused by a driver who was talking on their cell phone or texting, or was otherwise distracted, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

The experienced personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 1-800-326-9259 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Cliff Rieders’ book on the Financial Responsibility Law, one of the leading texts on the subject, can be easily accessed from Amazon. While no book can be definitive in giving all the law and rules with respect to driving, Financial Responsibility Law Issues by Cliff Rieders is a handbook in connection with Pennsylvania’s complex Financial Responsibility Law. We are always amazed how many people do not have proper insurance or do not understand how underinsurance works. There are forms people sign when they obtain insurance. Some people think that they are bound to choices of less insurance regardless of what they sign or do not sign. There are occasions when people can obtain more coverage because the forms are not properly executed, saved, or utilized by the company. This is complex material, and you should obtain a consultation with a lawyer such as Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Man Injured in One Car Crash

A Montoursville man in his 50s was being treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center after he crashed his Toyota Camry into an embankment on Lycoming Mall Drive, near the Bella Vista development, in Fairfield Township about 4 p.m. Monday, according to state police.  A passenger in the car, who did not give his name, told a reporter at the scene he believed the driver had suffered some sort of medical problem, adding that the car hit a curb in Montoursville.  The driver was taken in a Montoursville ambulance to the medical center.

Motorists Have To Share The Road

In a crash, a cyclist is much more vulnerable to suffering severe injuries than someone driving a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed and another 51,000 were injured in traffic collisions in the United States. In Pennsylvania alone, 19 people died as a result of bicycle crashes in 2014. Although cycling is more popular among adults, especially in major cities like Philadelphia, 25% of all injuries involving bicycles and cars in Pennsylvania were suffered by children between the ages of five and 14. (visit this website) And serious injuries can happen close to home — recently a Williamsport High School student, Elijah Allen, died after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car on Pa. 416 in Montgomery Township.

Pennsylvania has a bike safety law, and both motorists and bicyclists should abide by it. Bicyclists should always wear a helmet; stay to the right of the highway; ride with traffic, not against it; ride defensively; and use hand signals to indicate turning or stopping. However, even so, an automobile is bigger, heavier, and much more dangerous than a bicycle, and drivers are negligent who do not look out for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

There are laws for motorists sharing the road. These include:

  • Yield to both pedestrians and bicyclists at all times.
  • When turning right at an intersection, painted bicycle lanes require yielding to any bicyclists in the vicinity of your vehicle or approaching from behind.
  • It is illegal to park or stop your vehicle in a manner that obstructs or blocks a bike lane.
  • Check your side-view mirrors before opening your car door.
  • Leave a 4-foot “cushion of safety” when passing a bicyclist.

Motorists are urged to pay extra attention when approaching busy intersections since eighty percent of all vehicle crashes involving bicycles occur at intersections when cars are turning. Drivers who are not vigilant can cause serious bicycle accidents.

Some drivers are simply nasty and disrespectful of pedestrians and people on bicycles. They feel that cars own the road, and drivers of cars can be aggressive and dangerous.

If you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in a collision, you may be entitled to be compensated for lost wages, medical bills, physical, emotional and financial damages and loss of life’s pleasures you have suffered. If you were struck in Pennsylvania while riding a bike, or if you had to veer off the road to avoid a car and you were injured, or even if you are a driver who was were forced into an accident because a cyclist was not following the laws, the experienced and compassionate Pennsylvania personal injury attorney, Clifford A. Rieders, of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has a long history of results and can help make sure you get the settlement you deserve.

Drivers And Cyclists Must Be Responsible

Liability matters, and fault is the basis for liability. In any legal case, it needs to be determined who is responsible for a collision. Sometimes, cyclists who do not follow road rules or do not keep a proper lookout might be found at fault in an accident and therefore may not be able to recover for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures and other damages.

Both motorists and cyclists need to be aware of where the chances for accidents are greatest. Intersections pose the greatest risk for accidents, but there are other factors. Cars often underestimate the speed of a bike; cars often do not expect bikes to be on the road so drivers are not watching for bikes; and even if cars are on the lookout for bikes, they sometimes just do not see them because bikes are smaller and can blend into the background.

Injured in a crash? Get a free consultation.

Be aware that when it comes to accidents, prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence. Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills in successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Is Pennsylvania Law Too Lenient on Dangerous Drivers?

Are Pennsylvania’s driving laws too lenient on dangerous drivers? Does this lead to increased numbers of driving accidents and fatalities? According to a study by online personal finance resource Wallet Hub, Pennsylvania was ranked as the third most lenient state in the country for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) penalties.

The study looked at 15 different categories and assigned points for factors such as jail time, fines and the use of an ignition interlock device in order to calculate a score. Out of a maximum 55 points, Pennsylvania tallied just 13 points. And according to the Pennsylvania State Police Uniform Crime Reports data, between 2009 and 2013 the number of DUI arrests in the state decreased by 10.6 percent to 49,714 from 55,623.  In addition, the study found that Pennsylvania does not have an administrative license suspension law which would allow authorities to confiscate a license before a driver’s conviction.

While this study makes it appear that Pennsylvania laws are too lenient, this may not really be the case. Part of the reason for the low rating is the way the study was done. The state received a zero rating for not having a minimum jail time for a first offense. However, the study did not take into account that Pennsylvania has a three-tier grading and sentencing system based on the offender’s blood alcohol content level (BAC). The higher the BAC, the stiffer the penalties and fines.

Whether or not you believe that Pennsylvania laws are too lenient, if you have lost a loved one or have been seriously injured in a vehicle accident where someone else was at fault, you are entitled to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has a long history of results and can help you get the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine the best way to handle your individual case.

Driving Laws in Pennsylvania

The following are some of the major laws regarding drivers in Pennsylvania:

DUI Laws

Pennsylvania prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with .08 percent or above blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  There are lower BAC limits for commercial drivers (.04 percent) and a “zero tolerance” or .02 percent BAC for drivers under the age of 21. There are a series of penalty tiers, depending on the driver’s BAC of .08, .10 to .159%, and .16 or higher. The law also includes controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, inhalants and other intoxicants.

While Pennsylvania has no minimum jail time for a first offense and only a $300 fine, a third offense brings up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and a license suspension of one year.  The lookback period for previous offenses is 10 years.

Pennsylvania law also calls for installation of an ignition interlock device for a year for repeat offenders and for first-time offenders who refuse to take a chemical test.

The Implied Consent Law

Pennsylvania has an “Implied Consent” law, stating that all drivers agree to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if an officer of the law suspects that they are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both. Refuse to take the test results in a driver’s license suspension for one year on the first refusal.

Controlled Substance Law

In Pennsylvania, people are guilty of DUI if they drive with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or a metabolite under the Controlled Substance Act in the blood, or under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs and/or alcohol to a degree which impairs ability to safely drive. 75 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 3802(d)(1)-(3) (West 2010).

Sobriety Checkpoints

Pennsylvania allows law enforcement to conduct sobriety checkpoints under the state and federal constitutions.

Moving Violation and Speeding

In Pennsylvania, points are added to a license for each conviction of committing a moving violation. Over 6 points means a suspended license until passing a safe-driving exam. A second 6 points means the license will be suspended for 15 days, and 30 days for a third 6 points.  Driving 31 mph or more over the limit brings 6 points.

Anti-Texting Law

Pennsylvania law prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. It states that drivers are banned from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device to send, read or write text-based messages while their vehicle is in motion. This is a primary law, which means that a police officer has the right to pull drivers over and give them a ticket for texting while driving without having to witness another moving violation.

INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A FREE CONSULTATION

If you suspect your accident and subsequent injuries were caused by a negligent driver or one who violated Pennsylvania driving laws, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Prompt legal consultation can ensure the collection of relevant facts and the preservation of evidence.

Financial Responsibility Law

Pennsylvania’s laws in connection with recovery are more complex than the consumer may think. When a person is in an automobile or truck accident, there is a question of first-party medical benefits, insurance, possibly umbrella coverage, and either uninsurance or underinsurance motorist coverage. Cliff Rieders has written a book on the subject, Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania.  The subject is difficult, and many adjusters will give you the wrong information.  They are either misleading you, they are from another state, or they simply do not know. Cliff Rieders receives many phone calls from lawyers who find the complexities of the intertwined laws confusing. Sometimes people do not understand the difference between limited or full tort and when limited tort may not apply at all.  Do not handle these matters yourself. Make sure you obtain, talk to and meet with an experienced and knowledgeable trial lawyer.

The experienced personal injury attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, and aggressively fight for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 1-877-962-9411 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field.  Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Uber Launch in Williamsport, PA, Brings Complex Legal Questions

At the beginning of August 2016, the ridesharing company, Uber, announced its expansion into Williamsport, PA. The company proclaims that its services are now available to 93% of Pennsylvania’s residents, including those in DuBois, Gettysburg, Johnstown, and Altoona. Uber touts itself as the alternative to taxicabs because it offers flexible work opportunities and affordable rides. From its initial start-up in 2010 through December of 2015, the company provided one billion rides. In just six months after that, it reached another billion.

The concept is that both sides of the driver/rider equation sign up to access the Uber app. People in need of a ride access the app, provide details regarding pickup location and time, as well as drop-off point, and an independent driver shows up in their personal vehicle. Although there are basic pricing guidelines in place, surge pricing may increase costs during times of high demand. No cash is exchanged as part of this process, and riders and drivers have the opportunity to rate each other on the overall experience.

As an experienced personal injury law firm, we can foresee a number of complex legal questions. Here are some concerns that are being litigated about the ridesharing industry:

  • Drivers may be independent contractors or employees. We believe this may place the driver/rider relationship in a gray area when it comes to legal liability. If a rider is injured due to the negligence of the driver, the company may be insulated from legal actions because of this non-employee relationship. However, if it is found that there is an apparent agency relationship between the parties, the principal may indeed be liable. It is important to have an experienced attorney who understands the law in connection with when a principal, such as Uber, is liable for negligence or other misconduct.
  • Less regulatory oversight. Taxis and livery companies meet very strict regulations and local ordinances, but Uber often skirts this issue with its ridesharing definition. This concept is relatively new, so the legal system is still trying to put laws in place which govern these practices and protect rider safety. As of now, there is no permanent ridesharing legislation that covers the entire state of Pennsylvania. Standards need to be developed for vehicle maintenance and the amount of hours drivers can work without taking a break.
  • Most Uber drivers operate under their personal insurance policies, unlike the commercial policies of licensed taxi operators. Personal insurance companies may balk at covering a ride-for-hire incident if this was not indicated in the initial insurance application. Uber does carry an additional $1 million of liability insurance for accident purposes, if it can be determined that the driver was working at the time, although even that definition is debatable. For substantial injuries, the available coverage might not be enough to cover all medical and rehabilitation expenses and provide compensation for lost work time. Pennsylvania insurance law is highly specific and is governed not only by case law but also by statute and regulations.
  • Most people do not read the “Terms of Use” when they sign up for something online, and Uber is counting on that. Included under the limitation of liability section is a disclaimer that Uber does not guarantee safety and any riders assume the entire risk arising out of use of the services. Uber further states that it is not liable for personal injury resulting from use of the services. The law in Pennsylvania has addressed releases and hold-harmless clauses on a number of occasions. Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has written extensively on the subject.

Clearly, accidents involving Uber and other rideshare arrangements present questions of fact which will require critical analysis and insight developed only through a thorough understanding of the law.

Achieving results when it counts.

Cliff Rieders, of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. We offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259, or by using our online contact form.

Area Car Accidents This Past Weekend

The man driving a Dodge Neon was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries he suffered when his car and a pickup truck, which was hauling a boat, collided at Northway Road and Commerce Park Drive in Loyalsock Township about 3:30 p.m., one of three injury crashes to occur on Saturday.  The identities of those involved in this crash were not available.  Kelsey Bower, 19, of Cogan Station, was treated at the hospital for a head injury she suffered when her car struck the rear of a stopped car driven by Jaqueline Wertman, 69, of Trout Run, who was treated at the hospital following the crash in the 4000 block of Lycoming Creek Road about 1:40 p.m. In another crash, Mildred Sechrist, 78, of Jersey Shore, was treated at Jersey Shore Hospital after her car and a Jeep Cherokee driven by Camela Rooney, also of Jersey Shore, collided at Broad and Allegheny streets in the borough about 9:40 a.m. Tiadaghton Valley Regional police said.

Two People Killed In Potter County Crash

COUDERSPORT – Two women were killed and two others injured as the result of a two-vehicle collision in Potter County Friday night.

State police in Coudersport reported Collene Marie Ackley, 31, of Coudersport, and Jessica Lynn McKay, 34, of Port Allegany, were passengers in the vehicle that was traveling north on Route 872 just south of East Fork Road in Wharton Township at 7:22 p.m. when it struck a southbound vehicle driven by Steven Lee Wimer, 37, of Lancaster.

Upon impact, the Wimer vehicle overturned.

Ackley and McKay were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle, Derrick Michael Gleason, 30, of Coudersport, was flown by helicopter to Altoona General Hospital. Wimer was flown to Robert Packard Hospital in Sayre.

Police were assisted at the scene by Austin Volunteer Fire and Ambulance and Coudersport Ambulance.

Passenger in car injured

A 15 year old girl riding in this car was taken by ambulance to Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries she suffered when the vehicle and another collided at High and Campbell streets about 12:20 p.m. Thursday. She as a passenger in a car driven by Michaela McKenzie, of Williamsport, police said. The other driver was Diane Y. Kim of Collegeville.

Crash victim’s names released>

RALSTON – The two people injured in the one-vehicle crash on Rock Run Road on Monday were brothers from the Bellefonte area, according to Rich Glinski, district forester for the Loyalsock State Forest.

One brother was 23 while the other was 16, Glinski and emergency responders said.

“The driver was operating at an excessive speed for the road,” Glinski said. “The vehicle left the road, went airborne and slammed into a tree, crushing the roof,” he added.

Both brothers managed to climb out of the wreckage on their own following the 5:40 p.m. accident. Ralston fire officials said the teenager was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville while the other brother was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

No names were released and Glinski said investigators still are trying to determine who was driving.

Crash victim’s names released

RALSTON – The two people injured in the one-vehicle crash on Rock Run Road on Monday were brothers from the Bellefonte area, according to Rich Glinski, district forester for the Loyalsock State Forest.

One brother was 23 while the other was 16, Glinski and emergency responders said.

“The driver was operating at an excessive speed for the road,” Glinski said. “The vehicle left the road, went airborne and slammed into a tree, crushing the roof,” he added.

Both brothers managed to climb out of the wreckage on their own following the 5:40 p.m. accident. Ralston fire officials said the teenager was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville while the other brother was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

No names were released and Glinski said investigators still are trying to determine who was driving.

Man injured in crash identified

City police on Thursday released the identity of the passenger who, along with the driver, was injured in a one-car crash at the Market Street bridge off-ramp to Interstate 180 West early Monday morning.

The passenger, Robert Vanemon, 38, of Linden, remained in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, while the driver, Damian Abbott, 22, of Lewisburg, was in serious condition at the same hospital, a nursing supervisor said Thursday night.

The two were injured when Abbott, traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his car and slammed into a bridge abutment at 4:50 a.m., police said.

4 injured, 1 killed in Pennsylvania car accident

According to police, one person was killed and four others were injured when a car struck a tree in Pennsylvania. This car accident reportedly occurred the morning of June 5, in Conemaugh Township. At this time, authorities have not released an official cause for this crash.

It was recently reported that a 21-year-old male was driving his vehicle when he missed a turn, lost control of the car and struck a tree. He and one of the passengers in the car were airlifted to a medical center for treatment. The details of their injuries has not been reported and their current conditions are unknown.

Two other passengers in the car apparently fled the accident scene on foot but were later found by police. It is believed that they too were injured, but the extent of their injuries have not been reported. A fourth passenger — a 21-year-old male — is said to have died at the scene of the accident.

Law enforcement authorities believe that speed and alcohol possibly contributed to this car accident. If this is the case, the driver may face criminal charges, and the family members of the deceased and the injured victims may be entitled to pursue compensation in a Pennsylvania civil court. Wrongful death and personal injury claims, if successfully navigated, may result claimants being awarded monetary relief for any economic and non-economic damages that they have sustained such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and loss of consortium — among various others.

Source: wtae.com, “1 killed in Indiana County crash“, Jeff Cousins, June 5, 2016

Teen Hurt in Crash and Other Area Accidents

A 17-year-old Williamsport-area girl was injured when she crashed the van she was driving into the home of Corey and Drema Hall at 64 Grimesville Road, destroying the front porch and damaging the structure’s foundation about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Old Lycoming Township police said.    “We heard the tires squeal, then I heard and felt the impact.   There was a boom, bang, crash, whatever you want to call it. The whole house shook.  I ran downstairs, ripped open the driver’s door and checked on the girl’s condition,” Corey Hall said. The impact broke a set of pipes where the water main enters the home, but Hall said he was able to shut off the water fairly quickly.  The girl was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries.   This was just one of four crashes that occurred in the county within a 30-minute period.   An occupant was trapped in wreckage at Routes 44 and 973 in Watson Township.  No details were were available.   No injuries were reported when a car struck a fire hydrant in the 800 block of Route 287 in Piatt Township, fire officials said. In the fourth crash, a man was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after his pickup truck struck a bridge abutment and went over an embankment in the 700 block of Beaver Lake Road in Penn Township, fire officials said.  His identity was not available.

Injuries From Area Car Crashes

Volunteer firefighters in the northern part of county had a very busy Friday night handling two crashes that resulted in serious injuries.

The first accident involved a pickup truck that overturned on Route 14, one mile north of Ralston, about 9:15 p.m., trapping the female driver in the wreckage for about 10 minutes.

Firefighters from Ralston and Hepburn Township extricated the driver through the front windshield and loaded her into an ambulance that took her to a nearby landing zone, where she was placed onto a helicopter and flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Her identity and medical condition were not available Saturday night.

About an hour after the first crash, a customized Ford Bronco in which two men and three children were riding struck an embankment and overturned on Little Gap Drive near Route 973 West, about 2 miles west of Quiggleville.

The driver, David Meisel, 47, of 485 Little Gap Drive, Cogan Station, stopped and thought he had put the Bronco in park, but it was actually in neutral, Old Lycoming Township police said they were told. He then lost control of the vehicle.

Critically injured was passenger Dale Soules, 59, of Williamsport, who was admitted to the intensive care unit at Geisinger. Meisel was expected to seek treatment on his own at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, police said. The children were not injured.

Hepburn Township and Old Lycoming Township firefighters responded to the accident, but due to the remoteness of the crash site, the only way to get Soules to an ambulance was to use an all-terrain vehicle, which drove a quarter mile to reach the injured man.

After he was loaded into a basket and placed in the back of the ATV, Soules was driven to a staging area, where an ambulance was waiting to take him to a nearby landing zone, from which a helicopter flew him to Geisinger.

In an earlier crash on Friday near Montoursville, charges were pending against a 30-year-old Wyalusing, Bradford County, man after his Pontiac Aztek struck a utility pole on Route 87, 3 miles north of the borough, just before 4 p.m., state police said.

The driver, whose identity was not released, was not injured nor were the two children riding in the vehicle.

At a later date, the man will be charged with illegal drug possession, recklessly endangering and harassment for allegedly getting combative with an emergency responder who was trying to help him, police said.

The driver also could be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance pending the results of blood tests, a patrol supervisor said Saturday.

In one of two crashes on Saturday, one person was injured in an ATV accident in the 2600 block of Highland Lake Road in Shrewsbury Township about 6:45 p.m.

The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

No injuries reported in a two-car crash at East Penn and South Washington streets in Muncy about 8 p.m.

Man Dies in Tioga County Crash

WELLSBORO – A Tioga County man was killed from injuries sustained from a single-vehicle crash shortly after 1:30 a.m. Saturday in Delmar Township.

State police reported Corey A. Starkweather, 26, of Wellsboro, was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Tioga County Coroner Jim Daugherty.

Police said Starkweather was driving his car south on Stony Fork Road at an apparent high rate of speed when he attempted to negotiate a turn in the highway and traveled off the road onto the west berm.

After swerving back onto the road, the car slid across both lanes, striking a ditch and rolling before hitting a tree.

Police said the force of the impact was so great the car’s engine became dislodged from the vehicle.

Starkweather reportedly was not wearing a seat belt.

The car, a 2008 Ford Focus, sustained major damage.

Police were assisted at the scene by Wellsboro Volunteer Fire Co.

Tioga County Crash Claims Life of Wellsboro Man

WELLSBORO – A Tioga County man was killed from injuries sustained from a single-vehicle crash shortly after 1:30 a.m. Saturday in Delmar Township.

State police reported Corey A. Starkweather, 26, of Wellsboro, was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Tioga County Coroner Jim Daugherty.

Police said Starkweather was driving his car south on Stony Fork Road at an apparent high rate of speed when he attempted to negotiate a turn in the highway and traveled off the road onto the west berm.

After swerving back onto the road, the car slid across both lanes, striking a ditch and rolling before hitting a tree.

Police said the force of the impact was so great the car’s engine became dislodged from the vehicle.

Starkweather reportedly was not wearing a seat belt.

The car, a 2008 Ford Focus, sustained major damage.

Police were assisted at the scene by Wellsboro Volunteer Fire Co.

Route 220 Crash One Person Died

Authorities have released the identities of the three people involved in a fatal crash Friday on Route 220.

The driver of the Chevrolet GMC heading southbound who was pronounced dead at the scene Friday afternoon has been identified by the Lycoming County coroner as Joseph Aaron Newman, 56, of Muncy Valley.

Newman’s daughter, Amanda Newman, 21, of Muncy Valley, was treated at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for a broken leg, said Muncy Township police. She is in fair condition, a nursing supervisor said Wednesday night.

The driver of the Ford involved in the crash was identified as Richard Tebbs, 66, of Montoursville, police said. He remains in critical condition at the same trauma center, the supervisor said.

Rear-end car crash injures 5 in Pennsylvania

Authorities in Pennsylvania are investigating an auto accident that left a family of four and the driver believed responsible for the wreck injured. The car crash reportedly occurred in the Youngwood area on May 8. The current conditions of all those involved have not been reported.

According to reports, the family was heading to church that Sunday morning when their vehicle was struck from behind by a pickup truck. The force of the impact sent the family’s car flying into a nearby field. The pickup truck is said to have continued through the field, coming to a stop in a grocery store parking lot. Three of the four family members are believed to have sustained critical injuries and were transported to area hospitals for treatment, while one of the children is said to have suffered some bumps and bruises.

The driver of the truck also sustained critical injuries in the crash. At this time, police have not indicated if any charges are pending against this individual. A reconstruction team is still working on figuring out a cause for this incident. Authorities are also waiting on toxicity test results to determine if impairment was a factor.

The injuries this family sustained in this rear-end car crash are likely to affect them long-term. At least three members of this family are expected to need extended care and rehabilitation after they are released from the hospital. Not only will this be physically demanding, but it can be financially devastating as well. It may be possible for each of the victims to seek relief through legal means by filing personal injury claims against the driver believed responsible for the wreck. If successful, a Pennsylvania court could award monetary damages for any losses that are deemed recoverable.

Source: wtae.com, “5 injured in Youngwood crash, including 2 young boys“, Ashlie Hardway, May 8, 2016

2 Vehicles Collide Injuring 4

PENNSDALE – Four people were injured in a collision on Beacon Light Road near here on Monday afternoon.

The crash occurred around 2:50 p.m. when an SUV and a Buick LaSabre collided at the intersection of East Lime Bluff and Beacon Light roads.

There were two people in each car, said Trooper James Keeler, who was at the scene investigating the crash.

One person was taken by ambulance to Williamsport Regional Medical Center, a second was taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and a third injured person was taken to the same trauma center by a medical helicopter that landed in the middle of East Lime Bluff Road.

Keeler said the driver of the blue Buick who was transported to Geisinger by medical helicopter needed to be extricated from the vehicle by responders at the scene.

“The fourth person involved wasn’t seriously injured and declined medical care,” said Brad Nichols, chief of Muncy Volunteer Fire Co.

The names and other information about the four people involved were not released as of Monday night.

According to state Department of Transportation, the intersection on Route 2053 was closed between Chippewa Road and John Brady Drive for about an hour after the crash.

Lane Closed for Hours When Car Crashes Into Barrier

Scores of motorists may have been late for work Wednesday morning after a car crashed into a barrier in a construction zone of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 180 between the Maynard Street and Hepburn Street interchanges, city police said.

While no one was seriously injured in the 7:30 a.m. crash, the crash caused considerable delays since it occurred during rush hour.

Motorists were detoured off the interstate until the wreckage was cleared about 8:30 a.m.

Police could not provide the identity of the driver but confirmed no one was taken to the hospital.

One lane was reopened after the crashed vehicle was removed, but the second eastbound lane remained closed until about 4 p.m., when repairs to the work-zone barrier were completed.

Freedom Medical Supply v. State Farm Fire, 131 A.3d 977 (Pa. 2016)

Section 1797(a) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (“MVFRL”) states that a provider of medical products to automobile accident victims is entitled to reimbursement from automobile insurers, and where, as here, there is no federally-determined Medicare fee for a product, reimbursement is limited to “80% of the provider’s usual and customary charge.”  75 Pa.C.S. § 1797(a).  The MVFRL does not define the phrase “usual and customary charge,” but the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance (“Department”) has promulgated regulations defining it as “[t]he charge most often made” by similarly-situated providers, 31 Pa.Code § 69.3, adding that:

 

In calculating the usual and customary charge, an insurer may utilize the requested payment amount on the provider’s bill for services or the data collected by the carrier or intermediaries to the extent that the data is made available.

 

31 Pa.Code § 69.43(c) (emphasis and footnote added).  In this matter presented on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, we consider whether this latter language requires insurers to calculate a provider’s usual and customary charge for a product predicated on the two bases provided for therein, or merely permits using those bases, among others.  After careful review, we hold that it permits, but does not require, insurers to do so.

 

Driver Taken to Hospital

The driver of a Nissan Frontier pickup truck was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries he suffered when he crashed into a series of mailboxes and a tree in the 200 block of Carey Hill Road in Upper Fairfield Township about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to emergency responders. Investigators were trying to determine if the man, whose identity was not available, might have suffered a medical episode moments before the crash. State police are investigating. Montoursville and Eldred Township volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians responded.

Motorcyclist in Collision Listed in Fair Condition

Jonathan Nelson, 45, of Williamsport, was reported in fair condition in Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, with injuries he suffered when his motorcycle and a car driven by Brian Lynch, of South Williamsport, collided on Hastings Street, just south of East Seventh Avenue, South Williamsport police said.

4 injured in Pennsylvania car accident

A car crash involving three vehicles has injured a total of four people. This particular car accident occurred in the southeastern portion of the state. Pennsylvania authorities are still investigating the cause of this incident.

It was recently reported that two pick-up trucks and a passenger car collided in North Whitehall Township. It appears that the car, which was heading southbound, stopped for unknown reasons, causing the driver of a truck to swerve to the left, hitting the left rear of the car and then striking another pickup in the northbound lane head-on. Fire crews had to use the Jaws of Life to free the individuals trapped in the pickup trucks. Four individuals were hurt, at least one of whom suffered life-threatening injuries.

At this time, police are unsure of why the driver of the passenger car stopped in the middle of the road. It is unknown whether the driver of that vehicle, or either of the other drivers, will be facing charges for the incident. This car crash occurred on April 19. As of the latest report, authorities have not yet completed investigating this incident.

A car accident that results in injuries is certainly a serious matter. The victims of this particular incident are likely to experience a number of losses as a result of the wreck. It may be possible for them to seek compensation for those losses by pursuing civil claims against the individual thought responsible for the crash. A Pennsylvania court may award financial relief for those claims which are successfully litigated.

Source: mcall.com, “‘That’s my kid’s truck’: Injuries reported in Rt. 145 head-on crash at Laurys Station“, Frank Warner, April 20, 2016

Crash Injures 2, Damages Home

Both drivers declined treatment for injuries they suffered when the vehicles they were operating collided at West Third and Howard streets just before 3 p.m. on Monday, Williamsport city police said. The woman, who was driving a Chevrolet Malibu, suffered a knee injury, while the other woman driver operating a Honda Accord suffered facial injuries, police said. Damage to a home located at 2143 W. Third St. was investigated and determined it was minor. Fire Platoon Chief Sam Aungst was also at the scene taking down information for his report.

What is considered distracted driving?

When driving, it does not take long to find other drivers who are not paying attention. Distracted driving is a big concern in Pennsylvania and elsewhere across the country. It is the cause of numerous accidents, resulting in hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of deaths every year.

What exactly is distracted driving? Distracted driving is performing other tasks when behind the wheel that take a driver’s full attention from operating his or her vehicle. So, basically anything that takes a driver’s eyes or mental concentration away from the primary task at hand is considered distracted driving. Such things include:

  • Eating
  • Cellphone use
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Grooming
  • Texting

These are just a few things that drivers are commonly seen doing; however, there are many more distractions that may lead to auto accidents. States are constantly enacting new laws to help reduce the number of distracted driving accidents. For example, most states ban cellphone use and texting when behind the wheel. Serious fines can follow if a driver is found to be using his or her cellphone.

When distracted driving leads to an accident, the victim or — in the event of fatality — his or her surviving family members may seek compensation through legal means. Civil claims, such as personal injury or wrongful death claims, may be filed in a Pennsylvania civil court. If sufficient evidence can be provided proving the driver deemed responsible was distracted at the time of the crash, the court may award monetary damages for any losses sustained that are legally recoverable in accordance with the laws of the state.

Driver Arrested in Fatal Hit-Run

MORRIS – State police in Mansfield arrested Devon Greeley, 24, of Wellsboro, and charged him in the death of a 12-year-old bicyclist who was struck and killed by a white SUV on Tuesday night.

According to Tioga County Coroner Dr. James Wilson, Sophia Campbell, of Morris, was riding her bicycle along Route 287 in Morris Township when she was hit, possibly a Chevy Traverse, that failed to stop.

The girl was transported by Morris Fire Department Ambulance to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro shortly after the 7:12 p.m. crash. She was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m.

Greeley has been charged with homicide by motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and accidents involving death.

He was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge James Edgcomb, of Elkland, and jailed in the Tioga County Prison in lieu of $650,000.

Wilson said Campbell died from head injuries, but an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown.

Campbell was a student at Rock L. Butler Middle School in the Wellsboro Area School District, where counseling is being made available to her schoolmates.

Chain reaction car accident injures 2

A chain reaction auto collision in Pennsylvania involving a total of four cars is responsible for injuring two people. The car accident recently occurred in Lower Nazareth Township. The driver believed responsible for the incident is said to be one of the injured.

According to reports, the driver of a sedan failed to slow down for traffic that was stopped on Route 33. Authorities have not specified why traffic was not moving at the time of the crash. The driver’s failure to slow down and stop resulted in her striking the back end of one car, which then caused a chain reaction crash involving two more vehicles. The driver of the first car impacted suffered what are said to be moderate injuries. She was transported to a hospital for treatment.

The driver deemed accountable for this crash sustained minor injuries. It is unknown if she required medical care. At this time, authorities have not indicated if any charges are pending against this individual.

Chain reaction auto accidents occur for a number of reasons. Currently, it is not known as to why the driver deemed responsible for this particular car accident failed to stop; however, the injured victim may still have legal recourse. A personal injury claim may be filed in a Pennsylvania civil court in an effort to seek economic and non-economic damages. If negligence can be successfully established against the driver believed responsible, the court may award the victim financial relief for any losses she has suffered as a direct result of this wreck.

Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “2 hurt in 4-car Route 33 accident, police say“, Kurt Bresswein, April 7, 2016

Woman Dies in Collision With Truck

DEWART – A woman driving a Chevrolet Impala was killed Tuesday afternoon when she ran a stop sign and collided with a tractor-trailer truck at Route 54 and Musser Lane, about 2 miles north of here, in Delaware Township according to state police.

This was the second day in a row that a motorist was killed in a crash that occurred in the region.

The identity of the man killed in Monday’s one-vehicle accident on Route 442 near Clarkstown was Charles Chapin, 71, of Orangeville, Columbia County, state police said.

In Tuesday’s crash, the woman, whose identity had not yet been released, was traveling north on Musser Lane and struck the driver’s side of a truck driven by Curtis Ebersole, of Trevorton, who was traveling west on Route 54 when the crash occurred about 1:30 p.m.

The woman was killed instantly in the crash, according to Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley, who responded to the scene.

Police said the woman was not wearing a seat belt.

Ebersole was treated at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

When the collision occurred, the impact ripped open one of the truck’s two saddle fuel tanks, spilling about 30 gallons of diesel fuel on the road, according to Warrior Run Area Fire Chief Mark Burrows.

The Northumberland County Hazardous Materials team and the state Department of Transportation along with a private firm, the Northridge Group Inc., an environmental response team, helped with the cleanup.

A section of Route 54 was closed for at least two hours until state troopers completed their investigation and the vehicles were towed away.

Motorcyclist in Third Street Wreck Identified, Hospitalized

The motorcyclist who was injured in Saturday’s three-vehicle crash at East Third Street and Russell Avenue has been identified as Kyle B. Case, 27, of DuBoistown, who was flown to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where he was reported Wednesday night in fair condition, according to a nursing supervisor.

The other drivers involved in the Loyalsock Township crash were Richelle M. Ross, of South Williamsport, and Paige A. Reeder, 47, of Williamsport, state police said. Reeder and two passengers in her car, Kayla L. Reeder, 26, and an infant, both of Williamsport, were treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, police said.

Concerning another crash in the township, Andre Wise, 28, of Philadelphia, remained in critical condition Wednesday night at Geisinger with injuries he suffered in a two-vehicle accident at Sheridan Street and Pennsylvania Avenue on March 14, a supervisor said.

Four others injured in the crash have been discharged either from Geisinger or the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, police said.

2-Vehicle Crash Seriously Injures 5

A two-vehicle crash in which five people were seriously injured occurred around 12:45 p.m. Monday afternoon at the intersection of Sheridan Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

All the victims were taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center, and two were sent to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, according to Andrew Whelan, Loyalsock Township fire department captain.

The Sheridan Street and Pennsylvania Avenue area was closed off to allow state police to conduct an investigation and reconstruct the crash, he said. The road remained closed until 5 p.m.

One of the vehicles, a black van, had one occupant and the other vehicle carried four, Whelan said. A front-seat passenger was entrapped and unresponsive, he said.

“Their feet were trapped, we used our rescue tools to pull him out,” he said. “We had to remove the doors and roof and use hand tools to release their feet.”

All other occupants were conscious when attended to, Whelan said.

State police at the Montoursville barracks and Loyalsock Township and Montoursville fire departments responded to the scene.

Pennsylvania man struck by a car suffers severe personal injury

A Pennsylvania man is currently being treated for the injuries he sustain after being struck by a car. The gentleman was reportedly walking along the side of Route 61 in Perry Township when he was hit. He is said to have sustained severe personal injury as a result of the wreck.

This incident reportedly occurred around 3:30 a.m. on March 12. The victim — a 45-year-old male — claims to have been struck from behind while he was walking on the side of the road. Even though he is said to have suffered a severe broken leg, arm and head injuries, he was able to call 911 for assistance. Emergency crews transported the victim to an area hospital. Details about his current condition have not been released.

At this time, authorities do not know who was driving the vehicle involved in this incident. It has been reported that debris from the car was left at the scene which may help in identifying the driver. Police are asking anyone with information regarding this accident to please come forward.

The injuries sustained in an auto-pedestrian accident are usually pretty significant — such as in this case. Even though authorities may still be looking for the individual believed responsible for this incident, when found, the victim may have legal recourse. A personal injury claim, if successfully litigated in a Pennsylvania court, could result in the awarding of monetary compensation. This is something that could certainly help the victim, allowing him to focus on his recovery rather than financial concerns.

Source: wfmz.com, “Man severely injured in Perry Township hit-and-run“, Keleigh Gibbs, Derrick Krom, March 12, 2016

Woman Killed in Crash

A woman was killed and two men were seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash on Dewey Avenue, just south of Foy Avenue, about 2:10 p.m. Saturday, according to Old Lycoming Township police Cpl. Morris Sponhouse.

Their identities were expected to be released later today as authorities still were working late Saturday night to notify all family members.

The 61-year-old city woman was a front-seat passenger in a Ford Expedition that was traveling south on Dewey Avenue when the driver, a 57-year-old city man, “apparently lost control of the SUV, which struck multiple trees on the west side of the street,” Sponhouse said.

“The vehicle landed in the front yard of 1423 Dewey Ave.,” Sponhouse said, adding that the two front-seat occupants as well as a rear passenger, a man in his late 20s, were trapped in the wreckage.

City and Old Lycoming Township firefighters had both men extricated from the SUV in a matter of minutes.

Chief Deputy County Coroner Jerold Ross pronounced the woman dead at the scene. He said she was killed instantly in the crash.

After the men were extricated, they were loaded into ambulances and taken to the Old Lycoming Township firehouse parking lot, two blocks away, where two medical helicopters landed and then transported both to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

“I’ve been told that both men were in serious condition,” Sponhouse said.

Ross said investigators were looking into the possibility that the driver may have suffered a medical episode moments before the crash.

Volunteer fire police detoured traffic away from the crash for more than four hours from Foy Avenue to Lacomic Street.

Child Taken to Hospital for Evaluation

Both of the drivers involved in this two-vehicle crash at Washington Boulevard and River Avenue about 3 p.m. Wednesday declined treatment, but a child riding in the SUV, front, was taken by private vehicle to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center to be evaluated, state police said.  The identities of the drivers were not available.  Loyalsock Township volunteer firefighters and fire police responded to the crash.  At least one person was reported injured in a second crash in the township, this one happening at Bloomingrove and Cemetery roads about 4:40 p.m. No information was available about this accident and yet another one that occurred at Newberry Street and Prospect Avenue in the city about 3:30 p.m.

4 injured in Pennsylvania car crash

A two-vehicle accident in Pennsylvania caused injuries to both drivers and two pedestrians. The car crash occurred in Chambersburg on Feb. 22. The roadway was closed for well over an hour while rescue and clean up crews worked the scene.

According to reports, a sedan was making a left turn when it was struck by a sports car. The force of impact caused the sedan to spin and strike two pedestrians, both of whom were walking on the shoulder of the street. The pedestrians — males, ages 29 and 53 — were severely injured and were flown to a trauma center for treatment. As of the last report, both of these gentlemen were listed in satisfactory condition.

The driver of the sedan — a 67-year-old female — and the driver of the sports car — a 46-year-old male — were also injured in the wreck. Both individuals were taken to area hospitals for medical care. At this time, authorities have not indicated which driver may have been at fault. It is unknown if any charges are pending against either of these individuals.

Those injured in this car crash may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Civil claims may be filed in a Pennsylvania court against the driver believed responsible for the incident. In order for personal injury claims to be successful, negligence will need to be established to the satisfaction of the court. If this can be accomplished, the victims may be awarded financial relief for any economic losses this incident has caused them, as well as compensation for any non-economic damages that are deemed recoverable in accordance with state laws.

Source: heraldmailmedia.com, “Four treated at hospitals following two-car crash near Chambersburg“, Dan Dearth, Feb. 23, 2016

Crash on Route 15 Spur Claims Life of Truck Driver

A New York State truck driver was killed Wednesday afternoon when his tractor-trailer truck crashed and overturned on the Route 15 South spur, just south of the Route 220 exit, according to city police.

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. pronounced the 59-year-old driver from Cayuga County dead at the scene of “blunt force trauma injuries.”

The man’s identity was expected to be released later today after investigators are assured all family members have been notified, Kiessling said Wednesday night.

As he was traveling south on the spur around noon, the driver lost control of the rig for an unknown reason, Kiessling said.

As the rig overturned, the trailer split open, sending its cargo of coffee and food items down a steep embankment. An estimated 200 feet of guard rail was destroyed.

The victim was killed instantly in the crash, Kiessling said.

An undetermined amount of diesel fuel spilled from the truck’s saddle tanks.

Two heavy-duty tow trucks were needed to upright the truck.

In addition to city police and firefighters, representatives from the state Department of Transportation and the state Department of Environmental Protection responded to the crash as did an accident reconstruction team.

All traffic was detoured at the Route 220 exit until the spur was reopened about 6:30 p.m., after all the agencies completed their on-scene investigations and the wreckage was cleared.

1 killed and 3 injured in Pennsylvania car accident

A crash between a bus and a passenger car in Pennsylvania resulted in one young woman losing her life and three other women suffering unspecified injuries. The car accident occurred on Feb. 9, in Monroe Township. The decedent was reportedly sitting in the front passenger seat when the automobile was struck.

Few details of this crash have been released. It is believed that the car with four young females was struck by the bus. One of the women died at the scene, and the other occupants of the vehicle were transported to an area hospital for treatment. As of the latest report, two of the women have been released from the hospital; however, one, whose injuries were more serious, remains in the medical facility.

It is unknown if the driver or any passengers on the bus were harmed in this incident. Authorities have not indicated if any charges are pending against either driver. Authorities are still likely investigating this incident.

This tragic car accident is one that has damaged many lives. The surviving family members of the deceased are now left trying to cope with their loss, while also having to handle all of the financial struggles that often come with taking care of the victim’s end-of-life matters. The surviving victims are also likely struggling as they work on recovering physically, emotionally and economically. According to the Pennsylvania laws, those negatively impacted in this crash may have legal recourse. Personal injury and wrongful death claims may be filed against the bus driver and/or his or her employer in an effort to seek compensation for any losses sustained in this wreck if negligence is proved.

Source: fox13now.com, “Memorial services announced for LDS missionary killed in Pennsylvania car crash“, Tiffany Demasters, Feb. 14, 2016

I-78 Huge Pileup Kills 3

A pileup involving dozens of vehicles near Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania on interstate I-78 that killed three people and sent scores to hospitals appears to have been related to a passing snow squall, authorities said Saturday.

Trooper Justin Summa said three fatalities had been confirmed and an unknown number of critically injured patients were flown to hospitals. Seventy more were transported by ambulance to other facilities after the crash in Interstate 78 in Fredericksburg.

State police said more than 50 vehicles were involved in the crash, which happened around 9:45 a.m. The pileup left trucks and cars tangled together across three traffic lanes and into the snow-covered median about 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Trooper Adam Reed said investigators believe that “passing snow squalls played a role in causing the crash.” PennLive.com reported some witnesses reported sudden whiteout conditions on the interstate before the crash.

The Penn State-Lehigh Valley men’s basketball team was heading to a game in New Kensington when the team’s chartered bus was hit by a tractor-trailer, the university said. Officials said there were no serious injuries to anyone, and the students were “on a warm, dry bus” but were being taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency spokesman Cory Angell said an emergency operation center was activated and a special response team was at Fort Indiantown Gap to deliver stockpiled supplies such as food and water if they are needed.

Angell said drivers were being urged to use caution due to extremely cold temperatures and blowing snow making roads hazardous even though they have been plowed.

“You could be driving down the interstate and all of a sudden conditions change because the winds are drifting the snow,” he said.

Deadly Crash Closes Road in Towanda

TOWANDA — A deadly crash closed a road in Bradford County Wednesday.

Route 220  in Towanda was closed part of the day because of the fiery crash.

Firefighters tell us a tanker truck collided with a car around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and a person in that car was killed.

Police identified the victim as Richard Wilcox, 76, from Dushore, Sullivan County.

There is no word what led to the crash.

UPS Driver Involved in Fatal Buggy Crash Faces Charges

Charges have been filed against a woman involved in a fatal crash that took the lives of two passengers of a horse-drawn buggy last summer.

State police at Lamar reported Sherry Croak, 55, of Lock Haven, faces charges that include careless driving stemming from the collision in Loganton, Clinton County.

Rachel Beiler, 36, and her 8-year-old son, David, were killed in the crash that occurred when Croak’s UPS truck struck the buggy traveling in the opposite direction along West Winter Road, near Brother’s Lane, shortly before 7 p.m. July 10.

The buggy’s driver, Aaron Beiler, 36, and three of his children were injured in the collision.

Other charges against Croak are driving on the right side of of the road and meeting a vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction.

State police and a collision reconstruction unit conducted a lengthy investigation of the crash.

Charges were filed with Magisterial District Judge John Maggs after the case was reviewed by Clinton County District Attorney David Strouse’s office.

Tioga County Man Killed in 4-Wheeler Crash

MANSFIELD – Joshua L. Bailey, 28, of Mansfield died in a four-wheeler crash late Friday night, according to state police Mansfield barracks.

Bailey was traveling northbound on Welch Mountain Road on his four-wheeler at a high rate of speed, according to state police. He hit a ditch then hit a tree, which broke both left side wheels off the vehicle, according to state police.

The four-wheeler flipped onto its side hitting a group of trees, Bailey was thrown from the vehicle, according to state police.

He had not been wearing a helmet and had been drinking that night, according to Tioga County Coroner Ronald Hagar.

Van Overturns Trapping 2 Women

Firefighters work to extricate two women, an 85-year-old driver and a 34-year-old passenger, from this overturned van that crashed in front of the DuBoistown Borough Hall on Euclid Avenue about 11:50 a.m. Monday. Borough Fire Chief Paul McKinley was at the borough building and alerted a dispatcher after he heard the crash. Firefighters from the borough, South Williamsport, the city and Nisbet worked for about 20 minutes to free the two. While the passenger was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center and released, the driver, who suffered serious injuries, was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Before overturning, the van struck a parked vehicle, police said. The identifies of those involved were not available Monday night.

Child injured in Pennsylvania auto-pedestrian car crash

Pennsylvania State Police are currently investigating an incident that left a child injured. The auto-pedestrian car crash reportedly occurred in East Penn Township. The current condition of the child is unknown.

According to a recent report, a child — whose age and gender have not been released — was struck by a car the afternoon of Jan. 30. At this time, available details of this event are minimal. It is said to have occurred near a Carbon County intersection. The child was transported to an area hospital for the treatment of unspecified injuries.

Information about the driver involved in this incident has not been released. It is unknown if this individual will face any charges for this crash. Authorities are still in the process of investigating and will release more details about this wreck at a later time.

To a parent, few things in life seem worse than seeing one’s child suffering. Not only is this particular child likely to have a long physical and psychological recovery ahead of him or her as a result of this car crash, but the child’s parents or guardians are also likely to experience a number of losses as well. If desired, legal claims may be filed against the driver in order to seek to recoup any damages the child and his or her family has sustained. Negligence will have to be established in a Pennsylvania civil court for a claim to be successful, but if this can be accomplished relief for any documented damages may be awarded.

Source: wfmz.com, “Pedestrian struck by vehicle in East Penn Township“, Derrick Krom, Jan. 30, 2016

Car Crash Injures 71 Year Old Man

Gerald A. Brown, 71, of Williamsport, was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries he suffered when his vehicle crashed at Heller’s Market, 1941 Lycoming Creek Road, about 11 a.m. Tuesday, according Old Lycoming Township Police.

Brown was traveling north on Lycoming Creek Road when his car first struck a sign at Carpet One-Winner Carpet and then crossed the southbound lanes and struck a steel post, police said.

Bicyclist Injured After Being Hit By Jeep

City firefighter Kevin Breen holds Daniel Berberich’s head as Dana Bertin, an emergency medical technician, prepares to put Berberich on a back board after the 29-year-old city man was injured when his bicycle, at left, and the Jeep in the background collided in the first block of East Fourth Street about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Berberich was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where he was treated. The driver of the Jeep, Christina Beiter, center, of the city, watched as emergency responders prepared to move the injured man.

Driver Crashes Into Guardrail

A driver of an SUV, along with his passenger, escaped injury when the driver’s vehicle crashed and overturned in front of Mason’s Used Car Sales on Route 220 in Woodward Township about 7:15 a.m. Saturday, state police said.  Austin T. Shipton, of Williamsport, the driver who was traveling north, told police he fell asleep at the wheel.  About 30 feet of guardrail was damaged by the Shipton vehicle. Township volunteer firefighters were getting ready to leave their firehouse to attend a fire training class in Jersey Shore when the crash occurred.  Assisted by the state Department of Transportation, fire police closed one northbound lane until the crash was cleaned up.

Police: Racing WasCause of Motorist Death

PENNSDALE – When Matthew S. Edmondson lost control of the Audi he was driving on Lycoming Mall Drive and crashed into an SUV, killing him and injuring two adults in the other vehicle on Oct. 20, the 23-year-old Montoursville man was drag racing and traveling in excess of 80 mph, according to Muncy Township police.

Police allege that Edmondson was racing with 20-year-old Nathan Riley Hans, of 125 Henry Avenue, Hughesville, who was driving a Volkswagen Jetta when the crash occurred about 9 p.m.

Hans has been charged with five misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering as well as one count each of careless driving, reckless driving, racing on a highway and speeding.

A Montandon couple and their two children, ages 7 and 4, were in a Jeep Liberty when Edmondson’s westbound out-of-control car was coming right at them, skidding sideways in the eastbound lane, police said.

Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben said the driver of the Jeep, Lindsey Meyer, “really had no time to react at all.” While the children escaped injury, Meyer suffered facial injuries and her husband, Allen, suffered a cracked rib, Patrolman Bryan Bingaman said in an affidavit.

Hans, who told police he saw the crash, admitted that he and Edmondson, who was killed instantly in the crash, were racing after the two pulled out of the Halls Station Sub Station, Bingaman said.

When asked directly if the two were racing, Hans said “Yes, well sort of. It wasn’t like we planned to race, but we were both speeding,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Edmondson lost control on the curve where Lycoming Mall Drive intersects with John Brady Drive. Hans told police he believed Edmondson was going “at least 10 mph faster than me.”

While Edmondson was traveling in excess of 80 mph, Hans was driving in excess of 60 mph, where the speed limit is 45 mph, Bingaman said.

The excess speeds were determined by state police analysis of evidence collected at the scene, including videos from two businesses that recorded the alleged racing, Bingaman said.

Hans remained at the crash scene and the Jetta he was driving was impounded by investigators.

Hans has been sent a summons to appear before District Judge Jon E. Kemp for a preliminary hearing next week.

Crash on Lycoming Creek Road Kills Pedestrian

TROUT RUN – Richard Matthews, 47, of Poplar Street, was struck and killed instantly by a vehicle at 5:40 p.m. Monday on Lycoming Creek Road.

State police and representatives from the Lycoming County coroner’s office responded to the scene.

According to Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr., Matthews had been in the process of moving a dresser with his girlfriend. A drawer from the dresser fell out emptying its contents into the road.

As they were picking up the items, a car struck Matthews, according to Kiessling. The driver reportedly could not see Matthews due to the darkness and the fact that he was not wearing reflective clothing. The driver attempted CPR on Matthews but could not get any pulse, the coroner said.

A portion of the road was closed off by volunteer fire police as state troopers conducted an investigation.

Teenager Killed In Crash

McELHATTAN – Seth M. Shea, 17, of Loganton, was killed Thursday morning in a crash on Pine Loganton Road in Crawford Township.

A senior at Central Mountain High School, Shea was alone in his 1985 Volkswagen Golf when the accident occurred at 7 a.m., according to Trooper John Knepp of the Lamar State Police Barracks.

Shea was northbound when he lost control of the car while negotiating a right hand curve in the roadway, police said.

The car went off the west berm of the road and struck a tree before stopping, facing west, Knepp wrote in a prepared press release.

Initially, a call was made for a Lifeflight helicopter from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. However that call was cancelled shortly thereafter.

Clinton County Coroner Zach Hanna pronounced the young man dead at the scene, which is about one-half mile north of the intersection with Shaw Mountain Road.

Hanna ruled the cause of death as multiple blunt force traumas due to a single motor vehicle accident and the manner of death was accidental.

Volunteers from Sugar Valley, Wayne Township and Nippenose Valley fire companies responded, along with a Lock Haven ambulance.

Central Mountain High School is providing counseling services to any students in need.

Another accident Thursday morning on Pine Loganton Road was not related to the fatal crash, police said. In that accident, police said, there were no injuries.

New Year’s Eve Crash Injures Three People

SALLADASBURG – Three people were injured, one seriously, in a two-vehicle crash on Route 287 in Mifflin Township on Thursday night.

According to state police in Montoursville, one person was Life Flighted to Gesinger Medical Center, in Danville, with moderate injuries and two others in another vehicle were sent to Jersey Shore Hospital with minor injuries, according to Trooper Daniel Schweitzer.

The state police have yet to release the names of those involved.

According to Schweitzer, the vehicle with two occupants was traveling north on the two-lane highway and the other was driving in their lane as they were coming around a curve.

The northbound car attempted to swerve in order to miss the on-coming vehicle but they met in the middle of the road where they crashed, according to the officer.

The operator of the southbound vehicle had to be cut out of the wreckage before being transported by helicopter, according to Ethan Goodbord, deputy fire chief for Citizen Hose Fire Co. in Jersey Shore, who also assisted at the scene.

 

 

Jersey Shore crash injures woman

JERSEY SHORE – An elderly woman suffered serious head injuries Monday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash and was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, according to Tiadaghton Valley Regional police.

Evelyn Martin, 90, of Avis, was a passenger in a car driven by Gladys Shope, also of Avis, when she was injured, police said.

The car and a pickup truck driven by Brian Simmers, of Jersey Shore, collided in the 1400 block of Allegheny Street about 2:15 p.m., police said.

Following the collision, Shope’s vehicle went up an embankment and struck a house, causing minor damage, police said. Martin, apparently trying to get out of the car, was thrown to the curb as the vehicle, now in reverse, struck a parked truck, police said.

A nursing supervisor at Geisinger said Wednesday night that there was no record of Martin being treated at the medical center. Firefighters from the borough’s two volunteer fire companies responded to the crash.

Route 442 Crash Claims Life of Bloomsburg Man

CLARKSTOWN – A Columbia County man was killed early Saturday morning in a one-vehicle crash on Route 442, according to state police.

Jeffrey Reichenbach, 30, of Bloomsburg, lost control of his vehicle as he was traveling west on Route 442 near Neufer Hollow Road about 2 a.m., police said.

The vehicle went off the road and struck a utility pole and a tree, police said.

The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene of “blunt force trauma injuries to his head and chest,” Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said.

Worker Killed; Hit by SUV

A trash hauler was killed early Wednesday morning when he was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban while emptying a dumpster in the 100 block of West Church Street, city police said.

Tyler J. Hamm, who turned 25 just three weeks ago, was killed when he was hit by a westbound vehicle driven by Ronald E. Hartley, of South Williamsport, about 4:40 a.m., police said.

Hamm, an employee of Kriners Disposal Service on Lincoln Avenue in the city, was standing at the back of a garbage truck that was stopped in the westbound lane of Church Street when he was hit, police said.

“For an unknown reason, Hartley failed to stop or navigate around the truck,” Patrolman Ryan Brague said in his crash report.

The Suburban struck Hamm head-on, he said. A deputy county coroner pronounced Hamm dead at the scene.

“Initial findings indicate there was decreased visibility due to rain and poor lighting as well as dark clothing being worn by the victim,” County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said.

The officer’s report stated that Hartley was “distracted,” but he did not elaborate.

Brague also said that Hartley’s vehicle nearly struck a witness to the crash.

“This tragedy should remind all public service personnel the importance of wearing high-visibility clothing and to always pay attention when working around moving traffic,” Kiessling said.

Police said the crash remains under investigation and that no charges have been filed.

Area Crash Injures Jersey Shore Woman

Volunteer firefighters work to free a 55 year old Jersey Shore woman from her van after it overturned on Route 654 about a mile west of DuBoistown, in Armstrong Township, just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.  State police said the woman was traveling west on the two-lane road when for an unknown reason she went up a slight rock embankment, causing the van to flip. After she was extricated from the van, the woman was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for a neck injury.  Firefighters

After City Crash 21-year-old Man is Arraigned On 10 Charges

Several drug and weapons-related offenses on Wednesday after a one-car crash at the corner of High Street and Park Avenue.

City police Officer Joseph Ananea Jr. said in an affidavit he saw Watson crash into a fire hydrant. Watson said somebody “ran him off the road,” according to the affidavit.

The officer said Watson had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and had a bag of marijuana in his jacket pocket.

According to the affidavit, police then searched Watson’s car and found an unlicensed semi-automatic pistol, a digital scale, suspected marijuana, a backpack with “numerous narcotics” and pistol ammunition cartridges.

The narcotics consisted of three “bundles” of heroin, 30 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of hash, the affidavit stated.

Upon arrest, Watson allegedly tried to run away but was immobilized by a stun gun fired by Lt. Brian Womer.

Watson was transported to Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where he consented to a blood test. Police said he tested positive for heroin. Watson told police he was a user, according to the affidavit.

Watson was charged with firearms not to be carried without a license, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, resisting arrest, possessing an instrument of crime, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked and careless driving.

A video arraignment was held before District Judge Jerry C. Lepley, who set bail at $75,000.

Watson was incarcerated in lieu of bail. His preliminary hearing is Dec. 18 in front of District Judge James G. Carn.

Woman Injured When Her Car, State Police Cruiser Collide

A woman suffered minor injuries when her car and a state police cruiser whose driver was responding to on an emergency call collided at Washington Boulevard and Franklin Street about 1:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

Patricia A. Sinclair, 74, of Williamsport, was traveling south on Franklin Street and the cruiser, driven by Trooper Robert H. Williamson, was traveling west on Washington Boulevard when the collision occurred.

Although the traffic light was red for motorists on Washington Boulevard, Williamson had his cruiser’s emergency lights and siren activated as he was responding to assist another trooper, who was trying to stop another driver who was threatening to commit suicide, police said.

After the two cars collided, the cruiser struck two parked cars, police said.

An ambulance responded to the crash, but police did not say if Sinclair needed medical treatment. Williamson escaped injury.

No additional information was provided concerning the emergency call involving the driver threatening suicide.

Man Crashes Car and Is Charged With DUI

After Donald E. Saricks crashed and overturned his car in the 900 block of Sheridan Street about 10:45 p.m. on July 25, the 54-year-old city man told emergency responders that he had “12 vodka drinks” since 3:30 that afternoon, according to city Patrolman Brian McGee.

Saricks, who declined treatment for minor injuries, had “slurred speech” and McGee detected an “extreme odor of an alcoholic beverage on the man’s breath” and he was “unsteady on his feet,” court records state.

Saricks, of 925 Ellinger St., was taken to the county’s DUI Center, where he submitted a blood test, which revealed he had a blood-alcohol content level of .14, McGee said.

Arraigned late Thursday afternoon before District Judge Allen P. Page III on a charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants, Saricks was released on $2,500 bail.

Family of 5 injured in car accident in Pennsylvania

A car crash in Pennsylvania resulted in the death of one man and caused five others to suffer unspecified injuries. According to reports, this car accident occurred on Nov. 13 in Lackawannock Township. Authorities have yet to release information as to the cause of the collision.

This incident is said to have occurred on Interstate 80, on the eastbound side. The driver believed responsible for the accident — a 53-year-old male from out of state — was allegedly driving the wrong direction when he collided head-on with the victims’ vehicle. Unfortunately, the force of impact was so great that the driver thought to have been at fault died shortly after impact.

A family of five was in the car that was struck. Each of them was injured and required medical treatment. The entire family was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital. Their current conditions are unknown.

When the driver believed responsible for a car accident does not survive, victims may feel that they have no legal recourse. Thankfully, this is not the case. This family may pursue civil claims against the decedent’s estate in an effort to seek compensation for any losses they may have experienced as a direct result of the crash. Personal injury claims can be filed on behalf of each of the victims. Those claims that are successfully litigated in a Pennsylvania civil court may result in an award of monetary damages, which can help this family recoup any economic losses this accident has caused them, assist them on their road to recovery and help them move forward from this terrible event.

Source: wkbn.com, “Man dies in car accident on I-80 in Mercer Co.“, Nov. 14, 2015

From car accident to compensation, how long does it take?

Those in Pennsylvania who have been injured or lost loved ones in auto collisions may have a myriad of questions, which is completely understandable. Of the many thoughts that may be floating through someone’s mind, one may involve achieving compensation. A car accident can leave a victim or — in the event of fatality — his or her surviving family members burdened in numerous ways. By taking legal action in an effort to seek damages, those burdens may be eased.

While a car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, the moments afterwards can seem to drag on forever. Recovery time or coping with the loss of a loved one can be excruciating, with little relief in sight. What can make this even worse is having to deal with insurance providers failing to fully compensate for any damages sustained.

Thankfully, victims of auto collisions, or their surviving family members, may have legal recourse. Civil claims may be filed in court against those believed responsible for accidents. In order to achieve compensation, negligence will need to be successfully established against the party or parties thought responsible for the incident. If this can be accomplished, the court may grant a monetary judgment.

Getting from the car accident to receiving compensation can take awhile. This is not something that will be accomplished overnight, as these cases require time for investigation. Unfortunately, this process can take months, if not longer. However, those residing in Pennsylvania can seek legal assistance as they fight to achieve monetary relief in a timely manner.

One is Dead, One Hurt in Crash

MILTON – One driver was killed and another hospitalized with injuries following a two-vehicle crash at Swengel and Orchard roads in Union County’s Lewis Township about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, state police said.

John T. Shellenberger, 63, of Mifflintown, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Union County coroner, Trooper Jason Caccia said.

Driving a Nissan Pathfinder, Shellenberger was traveling west on Swengel Road when he ran a stop sign at Orchard Road, Caccia said. The vehicle collided with a Dodge Stratus, driven by William F. Smith Jr., 54, of Mount Pleasant Mills, who was traveling north, the trooper said.

Shellenberger’s SUV then crashed into a tree, Caccia said, adding that the driver was not wearing a seat belt.

Smith, who was wearing a seat belt, was admitted to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, in fair condition, a nursing supervisor said.

SUV Crash Brings Down Wires

Brouse Road in Clinton Township was closed for much of Thursday after an SUV cashed into this utility pole, just off Route 405, at 10:45 a.m., according to state police. The woman driving the vehicle declined treatment for minor injuries. Her identity was not released. Representatives from PPL, Windstream and Comcast worked together to make necessary repairs and restore service to affected customers. Although just one utility pole needed to be replaced, wires from three other poles were pulled down by the crash, according to township fire officials.

Bus Driver Sentenced in Tioga County Court for March Crash

WELLSBORO Six people were sentenced in Tioga County Court on Monday, including the driver of a school bus that crashed while he was under the influence of intoxicants.

Robert E. Soyka, 74, of Westfield, was sentenced to 12 months probation under the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, and his driver’s license was suspended for 60 days.

Soyka was charged with DUI after he crashed the school bus he was driving on Burrell Road, with eight students, ages 6 to 15, on board whom he had picked up for school around 7 a.m. March 27.

Soyka hit a utility pole and stopped when the bus hit a guide wire. Soyka also was charged with reckless endangerment at the time.

No one was injured in the crash.

Also sentenced to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for driving under the influence of intoxicants were:

Eric R. Johson, 35, of Blossburg, 12 months probation, 60 days driver’s license suspension.

Brandon M. Wheeler, 22, of Tioga, nine months probation, 30 days driver’s license suspension.

Wayne K. Hudgins, 57, of Lawrenceville, nine months probation, 30 days driver’s license suspension.

Sentenced to 90 days probation plus court costs on an amended summary charge of harassment was John C. Thompson Sr., 30, of Lawrenceville.

Pennsylvania car crash: Driving appropriately for road conditions

Road conditions change with the seasons. In the fall, Pennsylvania residents have to worry about falling leaves, glare from the sun and fog — among various other hazards. Unfortunately, far too many drivers fail to adjust their driving habits to account for seasonal road conditions which can lead to auto collisions. If injured in this type of car crash, victims may have legal recourse.

One of the greatest things about the fall is watching the leaves change colors. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Unfortunately, not long after the colors change, leaves fall on roadways. They get wet and slippery, and driving on them can be just as dangerous as driving on ice. They also cover road markings, making it more difficult for drivers to navigate unfamiliar areas.

Fog and sun glare are also particularly troubling this time of year. Using low beam headlights can help drivers see other vehicles in foggy conditions. It is also advisable that drivers take their time and slow down when fog is present. When glare from the sun is an issue, having sunglasses and keeping windows clean can assist drivers during times when sun glare is at its worst — at sunrise and sunset.

Sadly, car accidents related to road conditions occur quite frequently in Pennsylvania. When they do, injured victims may seek compensation through legal means. Personal injury claims can be filed against those believed responsible for these collisions. If negligence can be established in court successfully, monetary relief may be awarded for any monetary losses a victim has experienced as a result of a car crash.

Source: justdrivepa.org, “Fall Driving“, Accessed on Oct. 24, 2015

Woman Injured In Chase Crash Dies

UNIONTOWN (AP) – A woman injured in a crash that occurred as police were chasing another driver has died, police said.

Police in Fayette County alleged that a male driver swerved out of his lane shortly before noon Friday on Route 119 and nearly hit a patrol car in the passing lane.

“Initially, the vehicle did pull over on the side of the roadway when he pulled over behind him,” Trooper Stephani Lucas told WTAE. “That’s when the vehicle basically fled.”

Officials said the ensuing pursuit reached speeds of 70 to 80 mph, and another trooper joined the chase. Police said the driver went around another vehicle and the first trooper followed, but the driver of the other car then turned in front of the second trooper and was struck.

“Whether she didn’t realize there was another car or whatever the reason was, she was attempting to make that left-hand turn once the initial two vehicles went through and it just happened to be in front of the trooper,” Lucas said.

The driver, identified as Bendetta Miller, sustained a head injury and was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she was pronounced dead Saturday, police said.

Officers called off the pursuit after the crash, but later tracked the vehicle to an alley in German Township and arrested the driver, who was expected to face charges including aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest, police said.

A trooper was taken to Uniontown Hospital for treatment of a hip injury, police said.

Man Found Dead in Burnt Truck

A man was found dead in a burnt pickup truck that crashed along Buckhill Road near Hughesville.

State police reported Peter Crawford, 47, of Hughesville, was pronounced dead at 8:12 p.m. Friday at the scene of the wreck.

Firefighters were reportedly called to the crash to extinguish a fire that had ignited in the truck hauling a trailer and skidsteer.

Crawford was found in the vehicle along with two dogs that reportedly perished in the blaze.

The crash remains under investigation by state police and the Lycoming County Coroner’s office.

Four Injured in Crash, Montoursville Man Dies

PENNSDALE – The speed of an out-of-control Audi A-4 was a contributing factor in causing Tuesday night’s violent two-vehicle crash on Lycoming Mall Drive that killed the driver of the car and sent four members of a Northumberland County family riding in a Jeep Liberty to a hospital, according to Muncy Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben.

Killed instantly in the 9 p.m. crash, which occurred just west of the Fort Muncy Garden Center, was Mathew S. Edmondson, 23, of Montoursville, McKibben and Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said.

Edmondson was traveling west at a high rate of speed on Lycoming Mall Drive when he lost control of the vehicle as he rounded a curve where John Brady Drive intersects, McKibben said.

The speed limit for that section of the road is 45 mph, but Edmondson was believed to be traveling well above that when the crash occurred, he said. The Audi’s exact speed will not be known until a state police accident reconstructionist completes his investigation.

Edmondson’s car “was already skidding sideways in the eastbound lane when it collided with a Jeep Liberty driven by Lindsey Meyer, of Montandon,” McKibben said.

“She really had no time to react at all,” McKibben said of the 31-year-old driver, who was riding with her 33-year-old husband, Allen, and the couple’s two children, a 7-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.

The four, who were wearing seat belts or in child safety seats, were taken by ambulances to the Muncy Valley Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries and later released, McKibben said he was told.

The impact crushed the driver’s side of the Audi. A tow truck was needed to pull the vehicles apart, and firefighters had to use extrication tools to free Edmondson’s body from the wreckage.

Muncy Township and Muncy Area volunteer firefighters responded to the crash as did volunteer fire police and representatives from the state Department of Transportation.

A section of the road was closed for at least five hours as township, Muncy Borough and state police worked together on investigating the crash.

Farm Accident Claims Life Of Muncy Man

A Muncy man was killed in an apparent farming accident in Franklin Township Wednesday.

State police reported Jay Schwenk, 64, was operating a tractor on a hilly patch of rough terrain in an 80-acre field when it flipped, pinning him beneath the tractor.

The accident occurred sometime between 9:45 a.m. and 7 p.m., police said.

In addition to police, personnel from Lairdsville Volunteer Fire Co. responded to the accident.

Two People Killed In Potter County Crash

COUDERSPORT – Two women were killed and two others injured as the result of a two-vehicle collision in Potter County Friday night.

State police in Coudersport reported Collene Marie Ackley, 31, of Coudersport, and Jessica Lynn McKay, 34, of Port Allegany, were passengers in the vehicle that was traveling north on Route 872 just south of East Fork Road in Wharton Township at 7:22 p.m. when it struck a southbound vehicle driven by Steven Lee Wimer, 37, of Lancaster.

Upon impact, the Wimer vehicle overturned.

Ackley and McKay were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle, Derrick Michael Gleason, 30, of Coudersport, was flown by helicopter to Altoona General Hospital. Wimer was flown to Robert Packard Hospital in Sayre.

Police were assisted at the scene by Austin Volunteer Fire and Ambulance and Coudersport Ambulance.

Two Girl, 14, Injured When SUV Collided with a Car

Two teenage girls riding in an SUV driven by Billie Sheeby, of Coudersport, were injured when the vehicle and a car driven by Leonard Wertz, of Williamsport, collided at West Fourth and Elmira streets about 1:20 p.m. Monday, city police said.

The two 14-year-olds were taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

One Person Dies in Crash

PENNSDALE:  One person was killed and a family of four were injured in a two vehicle crash on Lycoming Mall Drive, near the Fort Muncy Garden Center in Muncy Township about 9 Tuesday night, Township Fire Chief Scott Oldweiler confirmed.

 

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr., arrived at 9:45 p.m. and pronounced the male victim dead at the scene.

 

The victim was driving a passenger car and he was the sole occupant of the vehicle, investigators said.  His identity was expected to be released later today.

 

A mother and father and their two children were all riding in the SUV that was involved in the crash.

 

The family of four was already out of their vehicle when firefighters arrived.

 

All four were taken by ambulance to the Muncy Valley Hospital, where they were being treated for non-life threatening injuries.  Their identities were not released.

Car Crash Claims Life of Woman From New York and Her Grandson

ASHLAND, N.Y. – An upstate New York woman has died following a car crash that also killed her 3-year-old grandson.

The Star-Gazette of Elmira, reported 57-year-old Theresa Benjamin, of Newfield, died at the hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania, as a result of injuries she sustained in the wreck.

Authorities said Benjamin’s husband was driving north on state Route 14 Friday afternoon when the truck veered into the southbound lane, left the roadway and crashed down an embankment in Ashland, on the Pennsylvania border.

Her grandson from Rome, Pennsylvania, died at the hospital on Friday. He was one of four grandchildren in the car at the time of the accident. The other three were treated for injuries.

Initial investigation indicates that child restraint seats weren’t being used at the time.

Route 15 Crash Injures 5

MONTGOMERY – Five people were injured when a car driven by Wade Hutchinson, 52, of Palmyra, New York, and a SUV driven by Kevin J. Markle, 38, of Hanover, collided on Route 15, just north of Allenwood Camp Lane about 5:45 a.m. Saturday, state police said Tuesday night.

Besides the two drivers, also injured were three passengers riding with Market: Nicole Markle, 36, also of Hanover; Sheri Becker and Brian Becker, both 32, of Hanover, police said.

All five were taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, but no medical conditions were available Tuesday night.

65-Year-Old Man Dies in Wreck on Route 15 Near Blossburg

A Tioga County man died in a two-vehicle crash on Route 15 near the Blossburg exit Friday, according to Blossburg Borough Police.

Though identities of those involved in the fatal crash will not be released until families have been notified, authorities did say the man who died was 65 years old.

The occupants in the second vehicle involved in the incident were a 25-year-old man and three children.

The crash occurred when the car that held the three children crossed over the center lane and struck the vehicle of the 65-year-old man, eventually coming to rest on its roof, according to Cpl. Robert Scott, Blossburg Police.

All four occupants of that overturned vehicle were transported to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville to be treated for injuries. Their condition is unknown.

Route 15 was closed for almost six hours following the crash and was reopened around 5:47 p.m., Scott said.

The crash still is under investigation and Scott said more information should be released to the public this afternoon.

1 killed in Pennsylvania car crash, several others injured

Police in Pennsylvania have been investigating an accident that occurred on Interstate 283 near the end of September. The multi-vehicle car crash reportedly resulted in the death of one individual and caused several others to suffer unspecified injuries. At this time, it is unknown as to whether any criminal charges will be filed in this case.

This particular crash occurred the morning of Sept. 29, in Dauphine County. According to a recent report, the accident involved a total of five vehicles. The Pennsylvania State Police had a section of the Interstate closed for upwards of seven hours as they worked to recreate the collision. Authorities have not released information regarding who may have been responsible for this tragedy.

A 23-year-old woman of Biglerville was killed in the chain-reaction collision. Others were injured; however, police did not indicate how many people were hurt or if they required transportation to medical facilities for treatments. The current conditions of the surviving victims was not reported.

This car crash is certainly devastating in a number of ways. For the family members of the deceased, this tragic loss of life can be emotionally and economically challenging; for the other victims, any physical injuries suffered can be life-changing. Those negatively affected by this incident may be entitled to seek compensation for any losses experienced. Personal injury and/or wrongful death claims may be filed against the party or parties believed responsible for the wreck. Claims which are successfully litigated in a Pennsylvania civil court may result in financial judgments for any economic and non-economic damages.

5 Injured in Crash on Route 15 North

MONTGOMERY – Five people were injured when a car driven by Wade Hutchinson, 52, of Palmyra, New York, and a SUV driven by Kevin J. Markle, 38, of Hanover, collided on Route 15, just north of Allenwood Camp Lane about 5:45 a.m. Saturday, state police said Tuesday night.

Besides the two drivers, also injured were three passengers riding with Market: Nicole Markle, 36, also of Hanover; Sheri Becker and Brian Becker, both 32, of Hanover, police said.

All five were taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, but no medical conditions were available Tuesday night.

Police: High-Speed Chase Ends in Crash

What started with a city patrolman attempting to stop a motorist for a non-functioning license plate light resulted in a high-speed chase that ended on Sulpher Springs Road in Armstrong Township, where the fleeing driver crashed, according to an affidavit.

Brandon David Hill, 18, of 59 Gap Road, Montgomery, fled from the officer in the 100 block of Maynard Street about 12:15 a.m. on Sept. 15, police said.

Hill traveled east on Interstate 180, across the Market Street bridge and into South Williamsport, where he drove through an active work zone at 60 mph, Patrolman Ryan J. Brague said in the affidavit.

Hill continued south on Sulpher Springs Road, where his car crashed a few miles south of the borough. Apparently unhurt, he bolted from the scene and called 9-1-1 to report that his car had been stolen, Brague said.

The diver soon returned to the scene, telling police what he told the 911 dispatcher, Brague said. However, shortly after he was taken into custody, Hill admitted that his initial statements about the theft were false. He said he fled because he did not have a license, Brague added.

Two in Two Car Crash Face DUI Charges

TROUT RUN – Both drivers involved in a two-vehicle crash on Route 14 in Lewis Township about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 30 have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to state police.

Jennifer Lynn Gies, 28, of 593 Pleasant Stream Road, had a blood-alcohol content level of .13 while Kevin Lane Patt, 24, of 154 Bush Hill Road, Eldred Township, had blood-alcohol content level of .08, police said.

The two have been sent summonses to appear before District Judge James H. Sortman.

Woman Killed In Off-Ramp Wreck Identity Released

The passenger killed in Tuesday’s one-vehicle crash on the West Third Street off-ramp of Route 15 North in the city was identified as Dawn M. Milheim, 48, of the city, according to Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.

She was a passenger in a car driven Jodie Walker, 29, also of the city, when the vehicle slammed into a series of concrete barriers about 11 a.m. Walker declined treatment for minor injuries.

Milheim was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car, which “landed on top of her,” Kiessling said, adding that woman died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Betzer’s Funeral Home in Muncy.

Passenger is Killed When Car Hits Road Barriers

A 48-year-old city woman was killed late Tuesday morning when she was ejected from a car and was then run over by the vehicle as it crashed on the West Third Street off-ramp of Route 15, city police said.

The victim, whose identity was expected to be released later today, was a passenger in a Ford Taurus driven by Jodie Walker, 29, of the city, who suffered minor injuries in the 11 a.m. crash, police said.

Speed was believed to be a possible factor in the crash, Capt. Michael Orwig said.

Pedestrian Struck on Route 220

A 21-year-old man was struck by a car as he was walking along Route 220 near the Mountain View Deli in Woodward Township on Monday evening, according to Richard Whalen, Woodward Township fire chief.

Authorities responded to a call just before 5 p.m., the victim was transported from the 6,000 block of Route 220 to the Woodward Township Fire Hall and then put onto a medical helicopter that took off about 45 minutes after the crash.

Whalen was unsure of the victim’s condition, and no details on his injuries were made public as of press time.

Potter County Crash Claims The Life Of 2

COUDERSPORT – Two women were killed and two others injured as the result of a two-vehicle collision in Potter County Friday night.

State police in Coudersport reported Collene Marie Ackley, 31, of Coudersport, and Jessica Lynn McKay, 34, of Port Allegany, were passengers in the vehicle that was traveling north on Route 872 just south of East Fork Road in Wharton Township at 7:22 p.m. when it struck a southbound vehicle driven by Steven Lee Wimer, 37, of Lancaster.

Upon impact, the Wimer vehicle overturned.

Ackley and McKay were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle, Derrick Michael Gleason, 30, of Coudersport, was flown by helicopter to Altoona General Hospital. Wimer was flown to Robert Packard Hospital in Sayre.

Police were assisted at the scene by Austin Volunteer Fire and Ambulance and Coudersport Ambulance.

12-year-old Injured In Jersey Shore Crash Dies

Jacob Walters, a 12-year-old boy from Jersey Shore, died Thursday after colliding with an SUV while on his bicycle the day before.

Tiadaghton Valley Regional police are investigating the collision near the 200 block of Calvert Street that occurred around 6 p.m. in Jersey Shore and resulted in Walters’ death.

He was initially rushed to Jersey Shore Hospital emergency room and then flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, according to emergency responders.

A Gofundme account was created in support of the Walters family that had raised more than $1,000 by presstime.

Repeated attempts to reach Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police for further information were unsuccessful.

Collision Injures Teen Driver

A 17-year-old city girl was treated at the scene for minor injuries she suffered when the Jeep Laredo, she was driving and a Dodge Caliber collided at Washington Boulevard and Penn Street about 3:10 p.m. Wednesday, Williamsport police said. The other driver, whose identity also was not released, was not injured. In addition to Williamsport police, city firefighters and paramedics from Susquehanna Health also responded to the crash.

Man Dies In I-80 Crash When Jeep Rolls Over

LOCK HAVEN – A 22-year-old man was killed when he was ejected from his 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee as it crashed on Interstate 80 in Greene Township about 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

Christopher Loren Dixon, of Dalton but living in State College, was thrown from the vehicle as it overturned two to three times after he lost control of the vehicle as he was traveling west on the interstate, police said.

Dixon was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple traumatic injuries, police said.

Motorcycle Crash Causes Major Injuries to City Man

Steven Alberts, 62, of Williamsport, is recovering at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center from major injuries he suffered when his motorcycle crashed and went over an embankment on McNamee Road in Cascade Township about 6 p.m. Sept. 5.

Concerning another accident, Joshua M. Haagen, 22, of Lock Haven, was treated at the hospital for injuries he suffered when his car slammed into a tree and caught fire in the 3800 block of West Fourth Street in Woodward Township about 6:50 a.m. Friday, police said.

Motorcycle Crash on Route 54 Claims Life of Danville Man

A collision involving a motorcycle resulted in the death of a Danville man late Friday afternoon near Danville.

State police reported that the driver of the motorcycle, Joshua L. Jones, 40, was traveling south on Route 54 in Derry Township when it struck a vehicle entering the highway driven by Debra J. Derr, 59, of Selinsgrove.

Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The crash remains under investigation.

Two Teens Lose Lives in Crash

WYALUSING – Two young men were killed and three other people were injured in a head-on vehicle crash that occurred on Route 706 in Wyalusing Township on Saturday around 9:15 p.m. State police said the two vehicles collided with one another about a half-mile east of the intersection with Route 409.

The men who died, Colin M. Flynn, 18, and Brendan T. Hall, 18, were two of three passengers traveling east in a vehicle operated by 19-year-old Troy A. Stone, of Wyalusing.

State police said Stone crossed the center line of the roadway to pass another vehicle and collided with a westbound vehicle driven by Stacy L. Short, 33, also of Wyalusing. Short’s vehicle spun clockwise into the eastbound lane after impact and left the north shoulder of the road before striking several trees and ending up down an embankment.

Short, Stone and Stone’s other passenger, Kara J. Johnson, 20, of Wyalusing, all were sent to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre to be treated for their injuries.

State police said none of the individuals involved in the crash were wearing seat belts.

According to the television station WNEP, speeding and underage drinking may have contributed to the crash.

Vehicles collide on I-180 injure two

Two people were injured when this pickup truck, driven by Nanette M. Briel, of 604 Walnut St., slammed into the back of an SUV that was then pushed into a stopped van at the Basin Street off-ramp of the westbound lanes of Interstate 180 just before noon Thursday, city police said. The SUV was driven by Althea M. Eschback, 48, of 5957 Lycoming Creek Road, Cogan Station, and the van was driven by Paul E. Watson, of Turbotville, police said. Eschback suffered injuries as did a passenger in the truck, Jonathan Briel, 22, also of 604 Walnut St., police said. In the photo assisting at the crash site is Patrolman Donald Barrett.

Several injured in Pennsylvania car accident

Police in Pennsylvania are still in the process of determining what led to a crash in which five people were injured. One of the victims is said to be in critical condition. According to reports, this car accident occurred the morning of Aug. 20, in a town just north of Philadelphia.

A portion of Route 611 was shut down after a pickup collided head-on with a minivan. The van was heading south when it was hit by the truck, which was in the northbound lane. Four people in the van were injured — the 44-year-old driver, two of her children — both girls — and a family friend. The driver was flown to a medical facility with critical injuries; her current condition has not been reported.

The truck driver, a 49-year-old male, also suffered serious injuries in the wreck. At this time, police are still unsure as to how this incident occurred. It is unknown if any charges will be filed against anyone involved.

A car accident that results in injuries can leave a victim not only hurting physically, but financially as well. The road to recovery is not always easy to traverse, and it can be difficult to know for some time how one’s injuries will affect him or her in the future. In an effort to seek relief for any damages sustained, victims may pursue legal actions against those believed responsible for the losses. Those whose claims are managed successfully in a Pennsylvania civil court may be awarded a monetary judgment for any documented losses that are recoverable in accordance with applicable laws.

Pipeline Worker Killed When Bulldozer Rolls Over

ROARING BRANCH – A pipeline worker is dead after the bulldozer he was operating rolled over in northern Pennsylvania.

It happened just before noon Tuesday in Union Township.

State police say 54-year-old Ricky Dettman was driving a bulldozer on steep grade when it rolled down the hill, turning over several times before coming to a rest in an upright position.

The Nebraska man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dettman was part of a construction crew working on a 36-inch natural gas pipeline for Energy Transfer Partners. A spokeswoman for the company says the pipeline will take natural gas from the Utica Shale and deliver it throughout the country.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Man Suffers Injuries In Third Street Crash

A 77-year-old Loyalock Township man is recovering from multiple fractures and other injuries he suffered last week in a three-vehicle crash in the 1800 block of East Third Street.

James Hill was initially admitted to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, with injuries he suffered in the July 31 crash, but has since been transferred, according to Theresa Michael, his daughter.

She said her father was extricated from his car by volunteer firefighters, who had to cut off the vehicle’s roof in order to free him.

State police were investigating the crash, but further details were not available Thursday night. Fire officials said only person was injured in the crash.

Wreck Near Salladasburg, 1 Dead and Passenger Injured

A teenager was killed Monday morning in a one-vehicle crash north of Jersey Shore and in a second wreck, this one outside Muncy. Hours later, an elderly man, who may have suffered a medical episode behind the wheel, died when his van drifted down an embankment and into the Susquehanna River.

Wire Rope Works retiree Terry Seese was watching television in his living room about 10:30 a.m. when he heard tires squealing in front of his home on Route 287, near Salladasburg.

“I then heard what sounded like dirt and gravel flying. There was just a big boom and then everything went silent,” Seese said as he sat on his front porch.

“The minute I heard it, I called 911,” Seese said.

State police said 19-year-old Joshua A. Robbins was killed and a passenger in his vehicle, a 16-year-old girl, both from York County, was critically injured when their southbound Ford Explorer went off the two-lane road, flipped on its passenger side and slammed into a tree, state police said.

“The roof basically crashed into the tree and collapsed around the driver,” one investigator at the scene said.

Seese and his 23-year-old daughter-in-law, Brittnie, who lives in the same house, then heard the screams of a girl.

“She was yelling ‘Help me, help me,’ ” said Brittnie as she held her 9-month-old daughter, Abigail, in her arms, in front of the house.

The SUV, covered by brush and tree branches, was not visible from the road, but Brittnie followed the tire marks left from the crash and got as close to the vehicle as she could in an attempt to calm down the girl.

“I couldn’t get back to the car, but I could hear her. I told her that help was on the way,” the young mother said.

“The girl said she couldn’t see her boyfriend,” Brittnie said, referring to the driver.

Initially, it was believed that Robbins may have been ejected from the SUV because at first he could not be seen inside the wreckage.

Volunteer firefighters from Jersey Shore responded to the crash, about two miles south of Salladasburg, and worked for nearly 90 minutes to free the victims.

A heavy-duty tow truck, which was dispatched to the scene, was needed to help emergency workers extricate Robbins and the girl.

A call went out for two medical helicopters, both from Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, which landed in a field along Canoe Run Road, about two miles south of the scene.

Once extricated, the girl was loaded into the back of an ambulance that rushed her to one of the helicopters. Attempts to save Robbins, of Etters, were unsuccessful, police said, adding he was pronounced dead at the scene by Chief Deputy County Coroner Jerold Ross.

Volunteer fire police closed part of Route 287 for several hours.

Multi-vehicle car crash kills 2 in Pennsylvania

Police in Pennsylvania are in the process of investigating an accident that reportedly resulted in the deaths of two people. A few other individuals also suffered injuries in the car crash. The current conditions of the surviving victims are unknown.

This incident recently occurred on Route 65 in the eastern part of the state. It is believed that, for reasons unknown, the driver of a northbound car crossed the center line and struck a semi trailer in a southbound lane. This set off a chain reaction of sorts, with the accident ultimately affecting four vehicles. The driver of the semi, a 52-year-old male, died in the crash, as did a 69-year-old male. It was not specified whether the second individual was the driver believed responsible for the incident or a victim from one of the impacted vehicles.

In total, three automobiles caught on fire, and two of the drivers involved were injured. Reports have not indicated if any passengers were in any of the vehicles. Authorities have not released any further information regarding a suspected cause of the crash.

A car crash as serious as this one is bound to have an abundance of negative consequences for all affected, both directly and indirectly. The family members of the deceased and those who were injured will likely face emotional and financial repercussions from which they will struggle to recover. Any physical harm inflicted will also present numerous obstacles. Legal help is available to assist the victims of this incident, or their surviving family members, seek compensation for their losses by filing any appropriate civil claims in the Pennsylvania court system. Monetary relief may be awarded to those whose cases are managed successfully.

NEGLIGENCE-MOTOR VEHICLES-PERMITTING UNAUTHORIZED PERSON TO DRIVE

In this case it was permitted to amplify general allegations of negligence to claim that unauthorized person operated vehicle especially where the fact as to why was driving the vehicle was withheld.  Also the court found that there was a civil cause of action for permitting an unauthorized person to drive the car so that both the driver and the person who permitted it were responsible.  Finally, the court found that serious back injuries were enough to satisfy the threshold of limited tort alternative in Financial Responsibility Law.  Graham v. Campo, 990 A.2d 9 (Pa. Super. 2010).

1 Killed, 2 Injured in Crash in Milton

MILTON – A 72-year-old man was killed and another man was injured in a three-vehicle accident that occurred on Route 147 in Milton on Saturday afternoon.

According to state police, a motorcycle driven by Collar Reese, 72, of Lewisburg, and a car driven by Richard Crittenden, 80, of Northumberland, were traveling in the left lane while a motorcycle driven by Steven Ayers, 66, of Milton, was traveling in the right lane.

Reese and Ayers were traveling together at a slower-than-normal pace while searching for an item that had fallen off Reese’s bike earlier, police said. Reese’s motorcycle started to have mechanical problems and he signaled to Ayers, who pulled onto the berm.

Crittenden moved into the right lane to avoid Reese’s motorcycle when Reese suddenly changed lanes in front of Crittenden’s vehicle. Crittenden’s vehicle struck Reese’s, causing the motorcycle to travel farther to the right and strike Ayers’s motorcycle.

Reese was thrown from his motorcycle and landed in the grass median between the southbound lanes of Route 147 and the ramp from Route 147 to Route 254.

Emergency personnel responded and closed off the road.

Reese was transported via medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, where he died two days later as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.

Ayers was transported via ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center for minor injuries.

Crittenden was not injured.

Teen Receives Minor Injury in Crash

A 17 -year-old Old Lycoming Township boy was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for a minor hand injury he suffered when he crashed this Toyota Corolla as he was traveling west in the 1300 block of Fox Hollow Road about 4:15 p.m. Monday, according to township police. City and township firefighters responded to the crash as did volunteer fire police

Talking on cellphones is just one of many driver distractions

Distractions can be found anywhere and during any activity that should require one’s full attention. Seemingly small or common activities that people in Pennsylvania or elsewhere do every single day, when combined, can have severely negative consequences. For example, talking on cellphones and driving at the same time results in numerous accidents a year — some of which have fatal outcomes.

Cellphone use while driving is a major public safety concern, so much so that public education campaigns warning of its dangers are constantly taking place. Whether texting or talking, using a hands-free set or not, nearly 700,000 people nationally — teens and adults — are believed to use cellphones while driving on a daily basis. The average time a person spends looking away from the road when using one of these devices is five seconds, which is more than enough time for an accident to occur.

Cellphone use is not the only distraction drivers face. Eating, grooming, interacting with passengers and adjusting music — among various other activities — can also lead to collisions. Even if one’s eyes are on the road while doing any of these other things, that person’s reaction time can be affected dramatically.

With thousands of people killed a year, and hundreds of thousands injured, distracted driving is an issue that cannot be ignored. Pennsylvania residents who have been negatively affected due to individuals talking on cellphones or being otherwise distracted while driving can take legal actions for any resulting damages. Compensation for things such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, disability, mental anguish and numerous other losses may be awarded if civil claims are successfully litigated.

Trout Run Teen, 18, Dies in Crash

A teenager from Trout Run died after losing control of her vehicle while traveling south on Route 287 in Tioga County Sunday.

Jordan Emert, 18, died as a result of blunt force trauma after her vehicle rolled over on the state road, according to Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.

State police were called to the scene and shut down Route 287 to investigate the crash for a few hours

Emert was pronounced dead at 4:30 p.m.

Kiessling said Emert was wearing a seat belt.

Police: Woman Who Crashed on I-180 Was Using Heroin

PENNSDALE – Before getting into her van and losing control of the vehicle on Interstate 180 near the Lycoming Mall on June 4, Bobbie Jean Blair “injected two bags of heroin,” according to state police.

The 27-year-old Milton woman made the admission to Trooper Troy Hansen shortly after she arrived at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where she was taken by ambulance after the 10:45 a.m. crash.

Blair was traveling east on the interstate when she apparently “passed out,” the trooper said.

The 2000 Chevrolet Venture she was driving went across the median, both westbound lanes as well as an off-ramp before traveling down an embankment, crashing through a fence and bouncing off a barrier near Pond Road in Muncy Township.

Hansen, who arrived within minutes after the crash, said Blair still was in the vehicle when he reached the scene.

“She was very confused and disoriented. She related that she could not recall the crash and that she just passed out,” Hansen said in an affidavit.

Later at the hospital, the trooper discovered in her purse seven empty baggies and a syringe.

Blair was treated and later released. A blood test revealed she was under the influence of heroin at the time of the crash, police said.

Charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance, careless driving and related offenses, Blair has been sent a summons to appear before District Judge Jon E. Kemp.

Penn Dot Employee Dies In Crash

CANTON – A state Department of Transportation employee from Linden was killed and four other PennDOT workers were injured Thursday morning when the Dodge Caravan they were in crashed south of here on Route 14, according to investigators.

Christopher Kerns, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene following the 7:30 a.m. crash at Leonards Road in Tioga County’s Union Township, according to James Daugherty, the county’s chief deputy coroner.

Kerns, who was driving the state-owned van, lost control of the vehicle as he was heading north on Route 14, police said.

“He failed to negotiate a left curve and traveled onto the east berm,” Trooper Craig Wharton, a member of the patrol division at the Mansfield barracks, said in a news release.

The van first struck a reflector pole and then a section of guardrails, Wharton said.

“The vehicle traveled over the guardrail, down an embankment and rolled over on its roof,” Wharton said.

Kerns and the others in the van “traveled together as a team” and were en route to PennDOT’s photo and driver exam center in Monroeton, near Towanda, when the crash occurred, Daugherty said he was told.

He said the five employees worked at the driver exam centers in Lycoming, Bradford and Tioga counties, doing various jobs.

“One does the training, another gives the exam and another takes pictures for the licenses,” among other assignments, he said.

Riding with Kerns were Jill Phlegar, 53, and Emily Brewer, 56, both of Williamsport; David Carver, 67, of Watsontown, and Ashley Carter, 31, of Selinsgrove, Wharton said.

The front seat passenger was startled and “hollered” to Kerns as the vehicle veered off the travel lane and over a set of rumble strips, but there was nothing more the passenger could do to prevent the crash, Daugherty said.

All four passengers were able to climb out of the van on their own, Daugherty said. They were taken by ambulances to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.

Kerns went into cardiac arrest moments after the crash, Daugherty said.

Canton volunteer firefighters responded to the crash. Police and PennDOT officials took photos of the crash scene.

Daugherty ruled that Kerns died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries.

In a news release issued to WNEP, a PennDOT spokesman said “We would like to extend our heart-felt condolences to all the families impacted by this tragic event.”

WNEP also reported that due to the tragedy, PennDOT employees at the driver exam center in Monroeton were turning people away, telling them that ‘We don’t have the examiners here today,” a member of the public told the news station.

Man Dies in Jersey Shore Crash

Steven M. Shutts, 34, of Jersey Shore, was killed around 7 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle, a 1983 Ford Mustang, and struck a tree at 238 Shadle Road in Limestone Township.

Shutts was ejected from the vehicle upon impact and died at the scene, according to state police.

State Trooper Brian Evarts said Shutts was traveling east on Shadle Road when he lost control and traveled across the westbound lane. The vehicle then hit a wooden fence post before striking the tree.

Jersey Shore Man Dies in Crash

Steven M. Shutts, 34, of Jersey Shore, was killed around 7 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle, a 1983 Ford Mustang, and struck a tree at 238 Shadle Road in Limestone Township.

Shutts was ejected from the vehicle upon impact and died at the scene, according to state police.

State Trooper Brian Evarts said Shutts was traveling east on Shadle Road when he lost control and traveled across the westbound lane. The vehicle then hit a wooden fence post before striking the tree.

Truck-Buggy Crash Claims The Lives of Two

LOGANTON – A mother and son were killed in Clinton County Friday evening after their buggy collided with a UPS truck.

State police in Lamar reported that Rachel Beiler, 36, and her son, David, 8, both of Loganton, were traveling west along West Winter Road in Logan Township when their buggy was struck by the eastbound truck about 6:45 p.m.

Police reported the truck’s front struck the left horse shaft, or rail, next to the horse, causing the buggy to overturn and hit a tree.

Both Rachel Beiler and David Beiler were pronounced dead on the scene by Clinton County Coroner Zach Hanna. Death in each case was ruled accidental due to multiple blunt force trauma.

The buggy’s driver, Aaron Beiler, 37, of Loganton, and several unidentified passengers listed as 11-, 13- and 14-years-old, each were seriously injured in the crash.

The truck’s driver, Sherry L. Croak, 55, of Lock Haven, sustained moderate injuries.

The horse pulling the buggy was killed in the crash.

Assisting at the scene were Sugar Valley EMS and Fire, Goodwill Hose, Miles Township EMS and Fire, and Jersey Shore EMS.

The crash remains under investigation.

Crash on Interstate 180 Claims Woman’s Life

PENNSDALE – A 32-year-old North Carolina mother was killed and her two children, including her 9-month-old son, were injured in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 180, just west of the Lycoming Mall interchange, about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, according to the Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.

It is believed that Brittany L. Snauffer, of Dunn, was ejected through a side window as the Ford Explorer she was driving rolled several times in the median, Kiessling and state police said. Dunn is a city in south central North Carolina with a population of about 10,000.

Both the infant and his 7-year-old sister were flown to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, in a helicopter that landed near the crash scene. There was no information Thursday night on their medical conditions.

Police said Snauffer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was traveling west in the passing lane when she failed to negotiate a curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle.

“We believe the SUV rolled three, possibly four times in the median,” a trooper at the scene said.

As Muncy Township volunteer firefighters and other emergency personnel began arriving on the scene, they immediately began performing cardiopulomonary resuscitation on Snauffer as well as attending to the medical needs of the two children.

The baby suffered a head injury while the injuries to his sister were not serious, but first responders wanted to keep the two together so they both went to Geisinger, police said.

Efforts to revive Snauffer were unsuccessful. Kiessling pronounced her dead at the scene of “multiple blunt force trauma injuries.”

Numerous items, including clothing, shoes, and a stroller covered much of the median after falling out of the SUV.

When asked if the daughter was wearing a seat belt and if her brother was in a child-retraint seat, Kiessling said “That is still under investigation. We don’t know that for sure.”

Firefighters said the children already were out of the vehicle when they arrived on the scene.

Kiessling said the driver’s chances of surviving the crash were greater had she been wearing a seat belt.

“Seat belts save lives. We say it all the time, we see it all the time,” Kiessling said.

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation were on the scene and assisted with the investigation.

Volunteer fire police assisted with traffic control since traffic in both directions was down to one lane for more than 90 minutes.

Police Chase Ends With Car Crash, 5 Teens Hurt, 1 Runs Away

Police in Pittsburgh say one teen has been critically injured and four others hurt in a crash that ended a brief chase police.

Police began pursuing the car about 4:20 a.m. Monday after an officer saw it being driven without headlights.

Police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said one boy ran from the scene after the car crashed.

The 16-year-old driver was pinned by the crushed dashboard and was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in critical condition.

Four other teens were taken to other hospitals with lesser injuries, including a broken leg, broken ribs and a spinal injury.

Police said the teen driving the car didn’t own it, but police have stopped short of saying whether the vehicle was stolen.

Two Injured in Collision

Two people were injured when their vehicle collided with a pickup truck at routes 87 and 973 in Upper Fairfield Township.  The injured were the male driver of the car and his female passenger, both of whom bolted from the scene, according to off-duty Williamsport police Assistant Chief Tim Miller. Miller came upon the crash just seconds after it occurred. The woman was bleeding from the mouth. Miller said he chased the two for more than a half a mile, but lost sight of them as they “ran south through some woods and climbed fences.” The driver of the truck was not hurt. State police are investigating the crash and trying to locate the fleeing car driver and his passenger.

Man, Woman Hurt in Motorcycle Crash

A man operating a motorcycle and his female passenger suffered serious injuries when the bike they were riding on and a Dodge Neon collided in front the Christian Church at Cogan Station on Lycoming Creek Road in Hepburn Township about 8:40 p.m. Monday, Old Lycoming Township police said. The two people injured were flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville by helicopters that landed in the church parking lot. A third vehicle was involved, but it sustained only minor damage. Employees of Sick’s Garage, of Trout Run, were helping to remove the demolished cycle.

2 Injured Motorcyclists Identified in Lycoming Creek Road Collision

The two motorcyclists who were injured Monday night in a three-vehicle crash in front of the Christian Church at Cogan Station in Hepburn Township were James G. Clabaugh, 31, of South Williamsport, and Jessica M. Welch-Hetzel, 30, of Linden, according to Old Lycoming Township police.

Clabaugh, who was the operator, was reported in fair condition at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, while Welch-Hentzel, a passenger on the same motorcycle, was reported in serious condition at Geisinger, a nursing supervisor said.

Their southbound motorcycle and a northbound car driven by Cody M. Roan, of Ralston, collided in the southbound lane after Roan’s car struck a stopped car ahead of it in the northbound lane driven by Kaitlin M. Kelley, of Williamsport, police said.

Car, Big Rig Collide

The man driving this car was treated at the scene for an arm injury when the vehicle and a tractor-trailer collided in the 5000 block of Lycoming Mall Drive, just east of Montoursville, at 10 a.m. Friday, state police said. The truck driver was not hurt. The drivers’ identities were not released. Montoursville volunteer fire police assisted with traffic because the crash closed one lane of the road until the accident was cleared.

Fatal auto accident in Pennsylvania still under investigation

Police are currently trying to determine what caused a fatal car crash that occurred recently in Pennsylvania. According to reports, two people died in the auto accident and another individual was injured. There is no doubt that the injured victim and the family members of each of the deceased are in need of answers in order to help cope with the losses they have endured as a consequence of this terrible tragedy.

In mid-June, in the western portion of the state, two vehicles are said to have collided, resulting the deaths of both drivers and injuries to a passenger. One of the drivers, a 20-year-old male, was transported for emergency care, but he died about an hour after the crash. The other driver, a 68-year-old female, was taken to a different facility, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries in the early morning hours the following day. A passenger in the car with the young man also required medical attention. The current condition of this individual is unknown.

At this time, police are trying to pinpoint what may have led to the wreck. Weather conditions may have been a factor. The stretch of road on which the accident occurred is not believed to be dangerous; however, several other minor accidents have occurred in the same location.

Losing a loved one in an auto accident and not having any answers as to why the wreck occurred can be hard on families. In this particular case, police are doing their due diligence to investigate and come to conclusions as to why this accident happened. If, upon the completion of a full investigation, negligence can be established against one of the drivers, according to Pennsylvania laws, the injured victim and the family members of the other driver may be entitled to legal recourse. Personal injury, wrongful death and survival action claims can be filed against the estate of the person deemed responsible for this incident. Successfully litigated cases may be awarded monetary judgments as a result.

Injured Driver Identified By State Police

Injured driver identified by state police            

The driver hurt in a two-vehicle crash on Lycoming Mall Drive, just west of Fairfield Road, in Fairfield Township about 10 a.m. Friday was Brian W. Cohick, 29, of Williamsport, who was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, state police said.

His car and a tractor-trailer driven by Michael E. Freezer, of Muncy, collided, police said.

Coroner: Motorist Killed in Wreck Drunk, Likely Texting

When 41-year-old Diane L. Sanner, of Hughesville, fatally crashed her Ford Mustang into an embankment along Interstate 180 near Montoursville on Dec. 19, she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15, according to investigators.

Sanner, who was killed in the 11 p.m. crash near Cemetery Road in Fairfield Township, was not wearing a seat belt, Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said.

Investigators suspect that Sanner was texting at the time of the crash, Kiessling added.

Man Injured in Crash

Firefighters and paramedics work to free 48-year-old Ronald Shaner, of Muncy, from his Suzuki after it was struck in the rear by a car driven by Roger Zamora-Zeledon, of Kenner, Louisiana, in the 1900 block of Lycoming Creek Road about 9:45 a.m. Saturday, according to Old Lycoming Township police. Township and city firefighters responded to the crash. Shaner was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for neck injuries, police said.

Man Spared Jail Time in Triple-Fatal Crash

ALLENTOWN – A Pennsylvania man who sped through a red light that caused a crash and killed his mother, another woman and her teenage son was spared jail time.

John Mayer was sentenced to two years’ probation following his conviction last month on three counts of recklessly endanger another person in the February 2013 crash in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

Mayer, 34, of Slatington, was acquitted of more serious counts of vehicular manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

“That night was the worst night of my life,” he told the victims’ family. He also told the judge that he has no desire to ever drive again.

Authorities say Mayer’s pickup was going 86 mph in a 30 mph construction zone when he ran a red light and hit a sedan, killing 16-year-old George Gonzalez and 42-year-old Sharon Gonzalez. Virginia Mayer, 60, died five months later.

1 of 6 Injured in Route 15 Crash Still Hospitalized

One of six people injured in Tuesday’s two-vehicle head-on crash on Route 15 near the Hepburnville interchange remains hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

Damian Walker, 26, of Mansfield, was reported in serious condition, a nursing home supervisor said Wednesday night.

He was a passenger in a southbound pickup truck driven by his brother, Kenneth Walker, 29, also of Mansfield, according to Old Lycoming Township police. Both brothers were flown to Geisinger, but the older brother has been discharged.

Police said the truck crossed the median and crashed into a northbound SUV driven by Cinda Stayer-Warner, 51, of Allegany, New York, about 3:50 p.m. The driver and three passengers in her vehicle, Mary Cornish, 66, of Olean, New York; Christeen McNeil, 59, of Portsville, New York, and Mary Stayer-Jandrew, 74, of The Villages, Florida, were treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, police said.

Tour Bus Collides With Big Rig Leaving 3 Dead

TOBYHANNA – A charter bus taking Italian tourists to Niagara Falls collided with a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning on an eastern Pennsylvania highway, killing the bus driver and two others on the bus and leaving four people in critical condition, authorities said.

The crash occurred on Interstate 380 in the Pocono Mountain region as the bus, which departed from New York, was about a quarter of the way to its first destination.

The mangled front end of the bus was upright on the highway but wedged into the side of the tractor-trailer, which was sheared in half. The cab of the truck came to rest on its side in the woods next to the road, one of its axles torn off.

Authorities investigate the scene of a fatal collision between a tractor-trailer and a tour bus on Interstate 380 near Tobyhanna on Wednesday.

It appeared from a wide swath of grass scraped away in the median that the tractor-trailer was southbound when it crossed over the divided highway and into the path of the northbound bus. State police said a second tractor-trailer was involved, but they still were investigating what led to the accident.

Monroe County coroner Robert Allen, who confirmed the three deaths, said there were 17 people aboard the bus. Italian tour operator Viaggidea said there were only 16; 14 passengers, a tour guide and a driver.

The bus owner, Academy Bus, identified its driver as one of the three dead. It said the driver had more than a decade of experience with the company, but it declined to comment further.

More than a dozen people were injured and taken to hospitals, where most were being treated for mild to moderate injuries.

Allen said the truck driver didn’t appear to have been severely injured.

Viaggidea spokeswoman Simona Nocifora said she did not have any information on the passengers, including where they were from in Italy.

After sightseeing in New York, the group was headed to Niagara Falls, then Toronto, Washington and Philadelphia, before returning to New York, according to an itinerary for the eight-day trip.

The tractor-trailer was owned by the Xtra Lease company.

The company’s attorney said officials did not know who was leasing the vehicle.

Crash in Wolf Township Injures 16-year-old

PENNSDALE – A 16-year-old Muncy girl suffered moderate injuries when she lost control of her Volkswagen Jetta, which crashed on Rabbittown Road in Wolf Township about 7:40 a.m. Monday, state police said.

The teen, who was treated at Muncy Valley Hospital, failed to negotiate a curve as she traveled south at an excess speed, police said. The car first rotated 180 degrees, traveled off the road and struck a guardrail, police said.

The vehicle then rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise and slammed into an embankment, police said, adding the girl was not wearing a seat belt.

Woman Hurt in I-180 Crash

A woman driving an eastbound van on Interstate 180 suffered injuries late Thursday morning when it went out-of-control between 300 and 400 yards before crashing into a guardrail along Pond Road, near the Lycoming Mall interchange, in Muncy Township, according to emergency responders. The woman, whose identity was not available, was being treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center after the 10:50 a.m. accident. The vehicle went across the median, both westbound lanes as well as an off-ramp lane before going down an embankment, crashing through a fence and bouncing off a barrier, township fire officials said. The state police were investigating the crash.

Crashes Causing Injuries Investigated by Police

PENNSDALE – A man and a woman were injured and taken by ambulances to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center after their pickup truck was involved in a two-vehicle crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 180 at the interchange here about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to Muncy Township Fire Chief Scott Oldweiler.

No one was injured in the other vehicle, he added.

Firefighters and emergency medical technicians from Muncy Township, Muncy Area and Montoursville responded to the crash. State police investigated.

No other details were available Wednesday night.

State police did release details Tuesday night of a crash that involved two motorcycles on Route 44 in the Waterville area about 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

Kenneth D. Grumbling, 50, of Blairsville, and a passenger, Joni Corridoni, 53, also of Blairsville, were treated at Jersey Shore Hospital for injuries, police said.

Their cycle and another driven by David Lavan, 34, of Home, Indiana County, collided after Lavan lost control of his unit, police said. Lavan and a passenger, Sarah Lavan, 31, ofthe same address, declined treatment for minor injuries, police said.

Teenager Killed in Motorcycle Crash in Lycoming County

Jordan Township — State Police said a 19-year-old man from Lycoming County died Saturday night after a motorcycle crash near the Lycoming  and Columbia County line.

According to troopers, Albert Burkhart of Unityville was driving north along Route 42 when he hit a minivan.

Burkhart died at the scene.

The driver of the minivan was taken to Geisinger Medical Center with moderate injuries.

State Police said Burkhart was not wearing a helmet at the time of that deadly crash in Lycoming County.

Route 118 Crash Claims Life of Teen

LAIRDSVILLE – The teenager who crashed his pickup truck on Route 118 near here on Monday morning died of his injuries at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, state police said.

Anthony S. Gennusa, 18, of Sweet Valley, Luzerne County, lost control of his truck as he was traveling west on Route 118 about 7:50 a.m., Trooper Blake Brown said.

The teenager went off the road and then back on, crossing the eastbound lane before striking an embankment, Brown said.

Gennusa was not wearing a seat belt, Brown added.

Concerning another crash in the region, Levi A. Miller, 19, of Hughesville, was treated at Muncy Valley Hospital for moderate injuries he suffered when he was ejected from his pickup truck when it overturned, landing upright in the median along Interstate 180 in Muncy Township about 5:10 a.m. Thursday, state police said.

Driver Is Hurt In Rt. 44 Crash

ANTES FORT Charles Styers, 58, of the Mill Hall, was reported in serious condition after suffering injuries when his pickup truck crashed on Route 44.  He is currently in Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Tiadaghton Valley Regional police said the crash happened when he swerved to miss a deer in the middle of the road just north of the Limestone-Nippenose township line about 10:55 p.m. Friday.

 

Firefighters from Antes Fort, Nippenose Valley and Jersey Shore responded to the one-vehicle crash.

19 Year Old Man, Dies In Motorcycle Crash

A Lycoming County man was killed when he crashed his motorcycle into a vehicle along Route 42 in Jordan Township Saturday night.

State police reported that Albert Monroe Burkhart, 19, of 173 Sheets Road in Unityville, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lycoming County coroner.

Police said Burkhart was traveling north on the road just south of Route 118 when he struck a minivan driven by Alicia Beth Bennett, 35, of Unityville.

Burkhart was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to police.

Bennett was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for injuries described as moderate.

The crash remains under investigation.

20 Year Old Union County Man Killed In Crash, Sunday In Mifflinburg

A Mifflinburg man was killed in a single-vehicle accident in Kelly Township, Union County, late Sunday night.

State police reported Austin Craig Miller, 20, was driving west on Col. John Kelly Road when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree at about 11:35 p.m.

Miller was pronounced dead at the scene by the Union County coroner.

Assisting at the scene were firefighters from William Cameron Volunteer Fire Co. and White Deer Township Fire Co.

Man Jailed After High-Speed Chase

An Iowa man was charged following a high-speed chase with police Tuesday that started in Williamsport, included a crash with another vehicle and ended in Lock Haven.

Williamsport Police were dispatched early in the afternoon to the American Rescue Workers shelter at 643 Elmira St. after receiving a report of Alex Bell, 23, holding a knife to his arm.

Upon arrival, Bell fled the scene by car with police in pursuit.

A short distance from the shelter, Bell’s vehicle drove off the street and into a yard at 659 Hepburn St.

At Hepburn and High streets, Bell’s vehicle struck a car driven by Brittany Weaver but continued on without stopping. Weaver, who was taken by ambulance to Williamsport Regional Medical Center, reportedly suffered minor injuries.

The police pursuit continued on Interstate 180 and west out of the city where Bell reportedly drove in excess of 100 mph.

Other law enforcement departments became involved in the chase which finally ended in Lock Haven, where Bell was taken into custody.

Bell was arraigned before District Magistrate James G. Carn on charges that included speeding, reckless driving, accidents involving death or personal injury, and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

He was placed in the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Police: Lawmaker Injured in Crash May be DUI Case

A motorcycle crash on an eastern Pennsylvania interstate that injured a powerful state senator is being investigated as a possible case of driving under the influence, authorities said.

Sen. Patrick Browne, who previously had his license suspended following two DUI crashes, was operating a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that went out of control on an Interstate 78 off-ramp Saturday afternoon in Allentown.  The motorcycle fell on its side and slid along the roadway until it came to rest, according to investigators.

State Senate Republican leaders said Browne, 51, was in stable condition Sunday but is expected to remain in the hospital “for several days.”

“Pat has suffered considerable injuries,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Jake Corman said in a statement.

“We have spoken with Pat’s wife, Heather, who is with him,” they said. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with Pat, Heather and their family during this very difficult time.”

State police said they were investigating the possibility that intoxication was a factor in the crash.

Browne’s license was suspended after drunk-driving crashes in 1995 and 1999, and he told The Associated Press in 2010 that the experiences have influenced his approach to legislating.

“I’ve become more familiar and more adept on the issues related to addiction and recovery,” Browne said. “It’s something that’s faced me personally and something I live with every day.”

Saturday’s crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. Browne, R-Lehigh, and his chief of staff didn’t immediately return messages left Sunday seeking comment.

The Allentown resident was elected to the state Senate in 2005 after a decade in the state House and served as the Senate majority whip, responsible for rounding up votes, from 2010 to 2014.

After November’s election, Browne was named chairman of the Senate appropriations committee and has taken the lead on legislation that would overhaul the state’s two major public employee pension systems in light of their huge debts, shifting all new state and school employees into a 401(k)-style plan.

Car Crashes Around The Area

Truck closes road after flipping

Part of Route 654, about a mile east of Route 44, in Limestone Township was closed for nearly three hours Tuesday after a dump truck, loaded with 22 tons of limestone, overturned after it and a car collided about 1:30 p.m.  The truck driver was trapped for about 40 minutes.. Volunteer firefighters from Nippenose Valley, Jersey Shore and DuBoistown used a variety of tools to free the truck driver. Once extricated, the man was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville with serious injuries. Three people in the car suffered minor injuries, Nippenose Valley Chief Dean Miller said.

Car crash injures 2 

The driver of a Honda CRV, Denise Koch, 58, of 532 Pine St., along with an unidentified male passenger were treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for injuries they suffered when the SUV and another vehicle collided.  The other driver, Matthew Hunt, 27, of 1208 Isabella St., collided with the Koch vehicle at Park Avenue and Campbell Street about 11:10 a.m. Tuesday.  Hunt declined treatment for minor injuries.

2-vehicle crash injuries 1
A woman driving a Chevrolet Equinox was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for injuries she suffered when her vehicle and a Dodge Durango driven by a 17-year-old girl collided at Four Mile Drive and Warrensville Road in Loyalsock Township about 12:20 p.m. Sunday. The identity of the injured woman was not known Sunday night.  Warrensville Road was closed until the crash was cleared.

Woman Charged After Her Alleged Attempted Suicide

MONTGOMERY – A Clinton Township woman faces charges for deliberately driving her SUV into an oncoming truck tractor with a double trailer on Route 15 in attempt to commit suicide, state police alleged in court papers.

“She wanted to kill herself and intentionally caused the collision,” Trooper John Knepp said of Consuella May Figueroa, who turned 36 today, of 6324 Route 15. She is accused of crashing her southbound vehicle into a rig driven by Troy Mohney, of Harrisburg, about a mile north of her home, in the township about 8 p.m. on Jan. 27.

Seeing the SUV come directly at him, Mohney quickly took evasive action in attempt to avoid a crash, Knepp said.

However, Figueroa still managed to plow her vehicle into Mohney’s second trailer, Kemp said. Both drivers escaped serious injuries.

The woman made “a suicidal statement,” to Montgomery Patrolman Nathan Moyer, the first officer to reach the scene, Knepp said.

Charged with recklessly endangering, criminal mischief, reckless driving and careless driving, Figueroa has been sent a summons to appear before District Judge Jon E. Kemp.

Man Charged With Leaving the Scene Following Crash

George D. Grieco, 56, of 1320 Walnut St., has been charged with accidents involving damage to attended property (hit-run) for allegedly fleeing the scene after his 2004 Lexus struck the rear of a vehicle at Washington Boulevard and Elizabeth Street. about 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 11, city police said. The other driver was Thad Meckley.

Grieco waived his preliminary hearing on the misdemeanor offense last week before District Judge Allen P. Page III and was free on $2,500 bail.

Police: Woman Sets Fire To Her Car After She Intentionally Crashes Into City Radio Station

30-year-old woman who crashed her rental car into the Clear Channel Broadcasting building at 1559 W. Fourth St. on March 5 set a fire in the back seat of the vehicle moments before it slammed into the structure, according to city police Agent Trent Peacock.

Crystal Michele Glantz, who has a “history of mental health issues,” also had a blood-alcohol content level of .16 at the time of the wreck, which occurred about 10:50 p.m.

The fire was set using fire starters and charcoal briquettes; there was also an empty plastic gas can on the back seat.

Police suspect that Glantz, 30, likely targeted the building because she had “filed a civil suit against Clear Channel Radio” two years ago.

The fire was quickly extinguished when firefighters reached the scene. Glantz, who was not hurt in the crash, was taken to the county’s DUI center because she showed signs of intoxication.

The car sustained in excess of $12,000 damage while damage to the building was $6,800.

Glantz was arraigned Thursday morning before District Judge James Carn on charges of arson, felony mischief and driving under the influence of intoxicants. She was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Man Hit By Car Improves Says Hospital

The condition of critically injured pedestrian Jeffrey Willis, 52, of Delaware, has been upgraded to fair, a nursing supervisor at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, said Sunday.

Willis was struck by a driver while walking along Route 414 near Cammal on March 22.

Concerning another crash investigation, Alyssa M. Erb, 35, of Williamsport, remains a patient at Geisinger, but the hospital no longer is providing condition updates on her. She was injured when her car crashed on Cemetery Road near Wildwood Cemetery in Loyalsock Township on March 26.

2 Vehicle Crash on Route 15 Injures One

After declining treatment at a crash scene on Route 15 a 24-year-old Mifflinburg man was handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser on Saturday afternoon. He suffered minor head injuries.   The man’s vehicle and a second car collided head-on in front of the Lycoming County landfill in Brady Township just before 4 p.m. The second driver, a woman, was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, Clinton Township emergency responders said. Montgomery police said charges were pending against the male driver. Identities of those involved were expected to be released later this week.

Area Crashes – SUV Flips After Collision

A man driving an SUV escaped serious injury after it and a car collided at Heshbon Road and Hays Lane in Loyalsock Township about 9:10 a.m. Saturday, according to emergency responders. Both drivers declined treatment at the scene for minor injuries.  State police were investigating the crash. Concerning two other victims from other incidents, Alyssa M. Erb, 35, of Williamsport, remained in critical condition and Jeffrey Willis, 52, of Delaware, remained in serious condition at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, a nursing supervisor said Saturday night. Erb was injured in a one-vehicle crash near Wildwood Cemetery on March 26 and Willis was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking on Route 414 near Cammal.

Police: Man facing several charges after pursuit, crash

As he exited Interstate 180 at the Basin Street interchange during a high-speed chase that began in Montoursville early Thursday morning, 27-year-old Jamal Malcom White lost control of the Chevrolet Lumina he was driving.

The car first struck a utility pole and then overturned several times about 3 a.m., Montoursville Patrolman Douglas A. Litwhiler said in an affidavit.

White jumped out of the car and over a fence. He was found hiding in some bushes, where he was caught by a city police officer, the affidavit stated.

Litwhiler said he coould detect a strong odor of burnt marijuana and alcohol on White.

White, of 618 Pine St., fled from Litwhiler when the officer tried to stop him in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 1015 N. Loyalsock Ave. because the license plate on the car had been suspected of insurance cancellation.

“I had a couple of shots of liquor before I drove and I don’t have a license,” White told Litwhiler after the officer asked him why he failed to stop, according to the affidavit.

White was taken to the county’s DUI processing center, but refused to provide a blood sample, Litwhiler said.

During the pursuit in the westbound lanes of the interstate, Litwhiler said he saw White throw some bags out a window. Officers later found a bag of marijuana that is believed to have been thrown from the vehicle by White.

Already on probation for dealing drugs, White was arraigned before District Judge Jon E, Kemp on charges of fleeing police, driving under the influence of intoxicants, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, driving without a license, speeding and related offenses.

He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Market Street Crash 
The driver and a passenger riding in a Chevrolet Malibu were injured in a two-vehicle crash at Market Street and Oakland Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Monique L. Taylor, 39, of 633 Campbell St., and her passenger, Tyeshia Redding, 35, of 653 Hepburn St., were taken by ambulances to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Following the collision, the Malibu slammed into a utility pole. The other driver was Char L. Fredericks, of 2520 Dove St.

Distracted driving, a common issue with young drivers

It is not uncommon to see drivers focused on other things when behind the wheel. In fact, distracted driving can be seen every day on Pennsylvania roads. As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a study was recently conducted to show just how large an issue this truly is and how many young people it affects.

Accidents caused by distracted drivers can have serious to fatal consequences, and while these incidents seem to be declining in frequency, the number of incidents that do occur is still concerning. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, when it comes to crashes involving teenage drivers, six of 10 collisions occur due to some form of distraction. The most common focus interferences are reportedly cell phones, passengers, grooming and simply not looking ahead.

According to the most recently provided statistics, young drivers in Pennsylvania — those under 20 years of age — were involved in just over 24,000 accidents in the year 2013. For those between the ages of 16 and 17, the fatality rate associated with these collisions was 27 percent. Car accidents are simply considered the leading cause of death of young drivers across the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception.

Distracted driving tends to affect a lot of people beyond the driver. Legal remedies may be available to those who have been injured or lost a loved one due to this inattentive behavior. Assistance is available in filing and litigating any appropriate legal claims in a Pennsylvania civil court. Fair and full compensation can be awarded if negligence is successfully established against the driver and/or vehicle owner deemed responsible for a collision.

Source: post-gazette.com, “Study asks: Just how distracted are motorists?“, Jon Schmitz, March 30, 2015

Woman Identified in Cemetery Road Crash and Updates On Several Other Area Accidents

The woman who was injured last week in a one-car crash on Cemetery Road near Wildwood Cemetery in Loyalsock Township has been identified as Alyssa M. Erb, 35, of Williamsport.  She was reported in critical condition in Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, with major injuries.

As Erb was heading north on Cemetery Road, she went down an embankment for 45 yards before striking a tree about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

However, the crash was not discovered until about 12:45 p.m. the next day. Firefighters from Loyalsock Township, Old Lycoming Township and the city worked for an hour to extricate her from the wreckage.

Concerning another crash investigation, the condition of Jeffrey Willis, 52, has been upgraded from critical to serious, a nursing supervisor said Tuesday night.

Willis, from the state of Delaware, was recovering from injuries he suffered when he was struck by a hit-run vehicle while walking on Route 414 near Cammal about 1:50 a.m. on March 22. Investigators still are trying to track down the driver.

Regarding another crash, police have identified the injured drivers involved in three-vehicle accident at routes 287 and 973 in Mifflin Township on March 23 as Neil F. Dunkle Jr., 71, of Jersey Shore, and Sandra A. Probst, 24, also of Jersey Shore. The two were treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for moderate injuries. The third driver was not hurt.

In another crash, Ashley L. Coleman, 21, of Lock Haven, was treated at the same hospital also for moderate injuries she suffered when her Jeep Liberty struck an embankment on Route 973 near Mosteller Road in Eldred Township about 11:20 a.m. on March 20.

On the same day, Kyle A. Fitzgerald, 22, of Trout Run, suffered moderate injuries when his car and an SUV driven by Sara R. Crissman, also of Trout Run, collided on Route 14 near Hutchinson Road in Lewis Township about 9:45 a.m.

Also on March 20, Daniel J. Leister, 42, of Wellsboro, was treated at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro for moderate injuries he suffered when his pickup truck struck a tree on Route 660 in Tioga County’s Delmar Township.

Sunday Night Crash Injures Woman

An unidentified woman sustained minor injuries following a crash along Interstate 180, just west of the Market Street Bridge, in Williamsport shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday.  She was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.  One car was severely damaged in the incident. No other information was available.

Rt. 287 Crash Injures 2

About 4 p.m. Monday a 34-year-old Salladasburg woman driving a Jeep Cherokee was trapped inside her vehicle for nearly 40 minutes after it and a pickup truck collided on Route 287, just north of the Salladasburg Elementary School. Volunteer firefighters had to remove the Jeep’s roof and lift its dashboard in order to free her.  The driver of the truck and the woman were taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center by ambulance.  A third vehicle, which was stopped, was hit but sustained minor damage.

Recent Vehicle Accidents Around the Area

Sunday night crash injures woman 

 

One car was severely damaged and an unidentified woman was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries following a crash along Interstate 180.  The accident occurred just west of the Market Street Bridge, in Williamsport shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening. No other information was available at press time.

 

Car collides with city bus 

A sedan and a River Valley Transit bus collided around 6:15 p.m. Thursday evening. The car involved in the collision wound up in a yard at the corner of Sixth and Park avenues. The car’s driver was unconscious immediately after the crash but woke up and was able to get out on his own witnesses said. Responding to the accident were city police and fire personnel.

Car Accidents Around the Area

Route 15 Crash claims life of truck driver near Watsontown

WATSONTOWN – On Monday, a 51-year-old truck driver was killed when his rig crashed into concrete barrier and overturned on Route 15, just north of the Watsontown interchange, in White Deer Township.

 

Interstate 80 Crash claims life of Watsontown woman

LEWISBURG – According to state police, a 26-year-old woman was killed Friday morning when her car and a tractor-trailer truck collided on Interstate 80 in Northumberland County’s Turbot Township.

 

Weather related Wrecks

Responders were called to countless accidents on snow-covered and slushy roads Friday. A van was removed after a two-vehicle crash at Fifth and Park avenues in the city about 2:15 p.m. The van’s driver was treated at Williamsport Regional Medical Center for minor injuries, while the other driver declined treatment for a neck injury. On Fox Hollow Road, an 18-year-old woman’s car went over an embankment in Old Lycoming Township at about 1:45 p.m. The teen was not injured.

 

Sycamore Road closes after 2 crashes

Tuesday afternoon on Sycamore Road saw two crashes within a two-hour period which forced the temporary closure of part of the Loyalsock Township street.

Two City Vehicle Accidents

Drivers in crash identified

Drivers in a two-vehicle crash on Via Bella are identified as Max Edgar Ameigh, 80, of 58 Marvin Circle, and Carly N. Smith, 26, of 428 S. Main St., Jersey Shorcrash.  They were both treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center and discharged.

 

City accident victim released from hospital

City accident victim, Anna R. Kent, 30, of 300 Grampian Blvd., who suffered serious burns when she was struck by a car in front of her home on Feb. 25, has been discharged from the Lehigh Valley Hospital burn unit.

Group Policy – Blue Cross v. Platt, 3 Pa. D.&C. 4th 561, aff’d. 576 A.2d 1129 (Pa. Super. 1990)

Blue Cross v. Platt, 3 Pa. D.&C. 4th 561, aff’d. 576 A.2d 1129 (Pa. Super. 1990).  Blue Cross Blue Shield paid medical benefits on a group policy arising out of a motorcycle accident.  The insurance company notified the injured victims of their subrogation interest.  The insurance company sued based upon their claimed subrogation interest.  A group policy is a contract between the insurance company and the victims’ employer and not with the victims as individuals.  As third party beneficiaries, the victims are not parties to the contract and are not bound by any provision provided for subrogation rights.  In a Memorandum Opinion the Superior Court affirmed, albeit on somewhat different grounds.  In a lengthy Opinion, the court stated as follows:

 

“Therefore, we would not reach an equitable result if we permitted an insurer to unilaterally bind the insured by the outlay of a benefit, where the insureds were unaware that acceptance of this benefit could encumber further settlement negotiations with the tortfeaser.”  Opinion Page 7 & 8

 

The victims specifically deny any prior knowledge of Blue Cross’ subrogation rights.  Blue Cross admits that the victims had no knowledge of their parents signing subrogation documents or the circumstances under which those documents were signed.

 

Blue Cross “utterly” failed to plead that they gave Platt and Coffman notice of their subrogation rights or that Platt and Coffman were otherwise made aware of these rights.  Opinion Page 8 & 9.  “There is nothing in the record to suggest that they were notified prior to the extension of benefits, and it remains questionable that they were notified before the settlement of their claims with Berrigan.”  Opinion Page 9

 

The court found that Blue Cross had the ability to protect its subrogation rights by requiring the execution of the subrogation documents by the insureds before paying their medical bills.  This they did not do.

 

“Having failed to take this minimal step to protect its rights, Blue Cross may not seek relief in equity to the prejudice of the insureds who accepted the benefits without notice and proceeded to settle their claims.  We therefore hold that in order for Blue Cross to establish a right of subrogation against their own insureds, Blue Cross must allege not only the payment of the tort-feasers debt and a subsequent recovery from the tort-feaser by the insureds, but also knowledge on the part of the insureds that the extension of benefits was being made subject to the insureds agreement not to prejudice Blue Cross’ subrogation right.”  Opinion Page 9 & 10.

 

The Superior Court thus affirmed the Order of Summary Judgment.

Irey v. Commonwealth Department of Transportation, 72 A.3d 762 (Pa. Commw. 2013) Case Summary

In this case the accident happened and suit was against PennDOT for leaving water on the roadway.  The jury found that there was negligence but no causation.  There was no evidence that anything other than the water caused the accident.  The court in posttrial motions said that maybe the driver was negligent but the jury never reached the question of contributory negligence.  Therefore a new trial was warranted.

Williamsport School Bus Crash Injures 3 Students

Three students from the Williamsport Area School District riding in a bus suffered minor injuries in a five-vehicle crash in the 2200 block of West Fourth Street about 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, city police said.

The students, whose names were not released because of their ages, were treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Also injured in the crash was a driver of one of the other vehicles, Becky Randall, 31, of Muncy, police said, adding that she, too, went to the hospital.

Randall’s SUV and a car driven by Derrick Palski, of Jersey Shore, collided which caused Palski’s car to hit the school bus. Other drivers involved were Ashley Sampsell and Anna Colyer, both of the city.  Damage to the bus, Sampsell’s car and Colyer’s car were minor while damage to the two other vehicles was moderate.

One Vehicle Crash Kills Allenwood Teen

MONTGOMERY According to state police a 16-year-old girl was killed Monday night and two other people were injured in a one-vehicle crash in the 700 block of Brouse Road.

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. said  Dionna Satteson, of Allenwood, lost control of the 2000 Ford Explorer she was driving as she was traveling west on Brouse Road about 7:30 p.m.  The vehicle she was driving drove onto a patch of snow along the north berm which a struck a wooden fence and then rolled several times.

Satteson, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene of blunt-force trauma injuries.

Riding with Satteson were Tyler J. Marshall, 23, of Montgomery, and a 17-year-old Muncy girl, both of whom were taken to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Rodriguez v. Commonwealth, Department of Transportation, 59 A.3d 45 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013) Case Summary

There is no obligation to erect a median barrier.  Prior case law is dispositive of this appeal.  PennDOT is immune because the purpose of a highway is to travel on the roadway and the lack of barrier does not render the highway unsafe for that purpose.  The court has specifically held that PennDOT has no duty to install the median barrier or maintain the median in any way that will prevent crossover accidents.  The median is not meant for travel.

Stermel v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 103 A.3d 876 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014)- Case Summary

Claimant was a police officer who pulled somebody over for speeding.  As he sat in his cruiser by the side of the road, he was rear-ended by an intoxicated driver and sustained a back injury.  The employer is self-insured for workers’ compensation.  It accepted liability.  Claimant received salary continuation in lieu of PA workers’ compensation under the Heart and Lung Act.  Plaintiff pursued a third-party action against the driver who hit the cruiser and the tavern that served the driver alcohol when he was visibly intoxicated.  Total recovery from both defendants was $100,000.  The employer filed a petition to review compensation benefit offset seeking subrogation against the claimant’s third-party recovery.  The claimant argued that heart and lung benefits are not subject to subrogation under Act 44 and as a government employee he enjoys immunity from the employer’s subrogation claim.  When a compensable work injury has been caused by a third party, the Workers’ Compensation Act gives the employer a right of subrogation against the employee’s tort recovery.  The Heart and Lung Act contains no such provision, but it has been construed as giving the employer the right to subrogate.  In 1984, the Financial Responsibility Law abolished the employer’s ability under Section 319 of the Workers’ Compensation Act to subrogate its compensation payments against a claimant’s motor vehicle tort recovery.  The court has interpreted the Financial Responsibility Law to designate Heart and Lung benefits as a type of benefit not eligible for subrogation where the injury arises from a motor vehicle accident.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that Section 25(b) of Act 44 restored an employer’s right of subrogation for workers’ compensation payments but did not impact in the anti-subrogation mandate pertaining to Heart and Lung Act benefits.  The current established law is that Section 25(b) of Act 44 applies only to workers’ compensation benefits.  The Act did not shift responsibility for Heart and Lung benefits, which remained with the employer.  The legislator’s rationale is irrelevant.  The employer is simply not entitled to subrogation under Section 25(b) of Act 44.  Stermel v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 103 A.3d 876 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014).

Phillips v. Lock, 86 A.3d 906 (Pa. Super. 2014) – Case Summary

In this case, plaintiff failed to sue the corporation that employed the bus driver.  The court said negligent entrustment did not apply.  Krapf & Sons did not employ the bus driver and did not entrust the vehicle to him.  The party could not be substituted late after statute of limitations ran.  13.80 of SJIC Negligence per se did not apply; instead assured clear distance rule.  No new trial should have been granted to plaintiff who lost.  Medical treatment exception to hearsay rule did not apply to let in social security determination.  The determination was properly kept out.

Head-On Collision in Lock Haven

LOCK HAVEN – An elderly man died and another critically injured following a two-vehicle head-on collision on Route 64 on Friday afternoon.

Paul Eggler, 83, of Lock Haven, died at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, as a result of traumatic injuries he suffered in the crash, which occurred south of Heltman Road, in Porter Township.

Eggler, who was not wearing a seat belt, lost control of his southbound pickup truck on the snow and ice-covered road. The truck began to slide counterclockwise and traveled into the path of a northbound SUV driven by Thomas Auman, 73, also of Lock Haven.

After both vehicles collided, Eggler was ejected from the truck. Auman was reported in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center.

Pennsylvania drunk driving accidents: 2 on-duty officers hurt

Police officers can face a number of frightening situations while on-duty — more than most people ever have to experience. Vehicle collisions are just one example. Recently, two officers in Pennsylvania were injured in two separate accidents involving drivers who are believed to have been impaired. These alleged drunk driving accidents landed each officer in the hospital.

Both accidents occurred in the early morning hours over a weekend. In the first accident, the officer had been assigned to construction detail and was blocking traffic with his vehicle when his car was struck by a car driven by a 34-year-old male. In the second accident, the officer’s vehicle was rear-ended by an automobile driven by a 39-year-old woman. In both cases, the officers were taken to a medical facility for neck and back injuries, while one also complained of knee pain. Their current conditions are unknown.

It was not reported whether the other individuals involved in these accidents also suffered any injuries. Both of the drivers deemed responsible for the collisions were arrested and charged with DUI and other related charges. It is unknown if any court dates have been scheduled for either case.

As these officers were on-duty at the time of these drunk driving accidents, they will likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to help cover the costs of their care, recovery and lost wages. However, it is possible that these benefits may not sufficiently cover the financial losses these accidents have caused them and their families. Each officer may file a personal injury claim against the person believed responsible for his injury. Financial relief can be awarded for civil claims that are successfully litigated in a Pennsylvania court.

Source: philly.com, “Phila. officers injured in separate car crashes“, Linda Lloyd, Jan. 26, 2015

Full Tort Election

  1. If a written election is not returned to the insurance carrier, it is presumed that the insured has elected the full tort option.
  2. Under this option, an injured part need not satisfy ANY threshold in order to be entitled to bring a lawsuit for non-economic losses.
  3. Non-economic losses include monetary compensation for pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disruption of lifestyle, and a loss of consortium claim for the spouse of the injured party.
  4. Jury charge and verdict interrogatory, in which judge listed pain and suffering separate from loss of pleasures, enjoyment of life, and loss of feeling of well-being, was in error as being duplicative of each other.  Carpinet v. Mitchell, 853 A.2d 366 (Pa. Super. 2004)
  5. A lawsuit can be brought for monetary damages, irrespective of the nature and duration of the injury.
  6. Insured party who is injured in a car covered by full tort cannot be denied full tort because he also owns an uninsured vehicle.  Progressive Halycyon Ins. Co. v. Kennedy, 908 A.2d 911 (Pa. Super. 2006).  Insured had full tort on vehicle in which he was injured, and also owned another vehicle that was not insured under any policy.

Procedure in Obtaining Insurance Under the Financial Responsibility Law

  1. Insurance carrier must send notice to all insureds at least 45 days prior to the first policy renewal after July 1, 1990.
  2. Notice must describe the limited tort option and the full tort option.
  3. Notice must contain a premium quote for basic coverage under both options. Policy holders existing prior to July 1, 1990 amendments are entitled to receive notice of the cost comparisons between the premium differentials of the two types of insurance coverage under the MVFRL   Kelly v. Ziolko, 734 A.2d 893 (Pa. Super 1999).
  4. Any person who signs a tort option is precluded from claiming liability from any person for being inadequately informed about the options.
  5. If the insurance company has not received a response to the mailed notice within 20 days after the notice is first sent, the insurance company must send a second notice.
  6. If no response is received ten days prior to the renewal date, there is a conclusive presumption that the named insured has elected the full tort option.
  7. Those electing a full tort option are to receive a 10% reduction in total premium, whereas those selecting a limited tort option are to receive a premium deduction of at least 20%.  THEREFORE, IN EXCHANGE FOR GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO SUE IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS, YOU ARE SAVING AT LEAST 12% OF THE TOTAL PREMIUM CHARGE.
  8. Once a particular option has been elected, that elected option will apply to all renewal policies and replacement policies.
  9. At the time of renewal or replacement, after the initial election, the insurance company must send a notice each year reminding the insured which election was made, describing both elections, and advising the insured that they are entitled to change the election.
  10. Prior to enactment of Section 1731 (b), self-insured entities, which offer optional Liability Insurance Supplement, were not required to meet the statutory requirements mandated by the MVFRL.  Saunders v. Jenkins, 717 A.2d 561 (Pa. Super. 1998) Injured party, a passenger in a rental van when driver fell asleep causing accident, had negotiated for a “Hertz” rental van and initialed the contract declining LIS.  Injured party sought to recover excess liability insurance coverage.  Self-insured entity was not required to comply with notice and rejection provisions of MVFRL.  (Saunders was decided prior to enactment of Section 1731(b.1), which added mandatory language for rejection of UM coverage.
  11. Collective bargaining agreement between insured Township and defendant employee did not expressly bind Township to assume liability for defendant’s torts and therefore it was not an “insured contract.”  Brooks v. Colton, 760 A.2d 393 (Pa. Super. 2000). Pedestrian, stuck by employee’s vehicle, sued township.

Limited Tort Option

Premium Reduction. Insured will receive an additional premium reduction of at least 12% for making this election.

  1. Tort Election. If this option is elected by an “insured,” the election applies to and is binding on other individuals who are not named insureds under a separate policy.  Thus, the option election would apply to any individuals residing in the household of the named insured who are spouses or other relatives of the named insured, a minor in the custody of the named insured, or a relative of the named insured.  The elected option applies to the insured, or others bound by the insured’s election, with respect to any private passenger motor vehicle accidents.  What this means is that if you have elected a limited tort option and you are a passenger in someone else’s private passenger automobile, and you are injured as a result of the negligence of that driver or some other driver, you are not allowed to sue for non-economic losses except if you suffer a serious personal injury.

2.1      Children of Owners.  Children of owner of a registered, uninsured vehicle are not bound by limited tort election that owner was deemed to have chosen under Section 1705 (a)(5).  Holland v. Marcy, 883 A.2d 449 (Pa. 2005); however, children of owner of a registered vehicle who has elected limited tort are bound by that election. Hobbs v. Ryce, 769 A.2d 469 (Pa. Super. 2001).  This distinction makes little sense, but the courts will not change the wording of the statute.  See concurring opinion by Justice Newman in Holland.

2.2      Resident Girlfriend’s Limited Tort Election.  Owner of vehicle may be bound by election made by others with regards to the vehicle. Schwartzberg v. Greco, 793 A.2d 945 (Pa. Super 2002).  Owner is bound by resident girlfriend’s “limited tort” election on his own vehicle, where he gave her consent to purchase coverage. Pedestrian, who had suspended driving privileges, was struck by a motor vehicle while walking on roadway.  Pedestrian’s own vehicle was insured by his resident girlfriend, who had elected “limited tort” coverage and listed pedestrian/owner as an “excluded driver”.

2.3      Fiance’s Selection of Limited Tort.  McWeeney v. Estate of Strickler, 61 A.3d 1023 (Pa. Super. 2013).  Auto accident occurs in which Sally McWeeney was injured and institutes a lawsuit.  The question is whether she is bound by her fiancé’s selection of limited tort.  Ms. McWeeney was listed as another driver on the policy but not a named insured.  The court found that under Section 1705(f) involving application of tort options, the limited tort selection by the named insured did not bind listed principal drivers.  Only the one who is identified by name as insured on the face of the policy is a “named insured” for purposes of tort election.  Another question was whether a policy may properly define an “insured” more broadly than the MVFRL for purposes of binding permissive drivers to the owner’s election of limited tort.  Where an insurance policy would bar more drivers from claiming non-economic damages against third party tortfeasors than was contemplated in Section 1705, it runs afoul of the statute and is not enforceable.  Therefore to the extent that Mr. Brandt’s policy would preclude permissive drivers from filing full tort claims against third party tortfeasors when they otherwise have the expressed right to do so under the MVFRL, the policy is unenforceable.

  1. Right to Sue. If an eligible claimant elects limited tort remedy, that person cannot sue for non-economic losses unless the “serious injury” exception or another exception under the Act applies.

 

  1. Serious Injury. “Serious injury” is defined as a personal injury resulting in death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of body function.

 

  1. Impairment of Body Function. What constitutes serious impairment of body function depends on the specific plaintiff.  Long v. Mejia, 896 A.2d 596 (Pa. Super 2006).  The language in the Pennsylvania Act is identical to the language in the Michigan No-Fault Act, and therefore our courts will look to Michigan decisions for purposes of defining “serious impairment of body function.”  Under Michigan law, courts have held:

5.1      The impairment need not be permanent to be deemed serious.

5.2      You must look to the particular body function which was impaired.

5.3      You must look to the extent of the impairment.

5.4      You must look to the length of time the impairment lasted.

5.5      What treatment was required to correct the impairment.

5.6      Any other relevant factors.

Under Michigan law, a person who suffers an injury of short duration and who is able to return to full or nearly full activities after a limited period of time cannot recover for non-economic damages.

See Washington v. Baxter, 719 A.2d 733 (1998), adopting Michigan definition from DiFranco v. Pickard, 398 N.W. 2d 896 (1986) and see Long v. Mejia, 896 A.2d 596 (Pa. Super 2006); Graham v. Campo, 990 A.2d 9, 16 (Pa. Super. 2010), appeal denied, 609 Pa. 703, 16 A.2d 504 (2011).

  1. Pedestrians. A limited tort election does not apply to pedestrians.  L.S. v. Eschbach, 874 A.2d 1150 (Pa. 2005).  Minor child, whose mother had elected limited tort option, was walking across the street when struck by vehicle.  Section 1705 does not apply to pedestrians and minor child’s right of recovery is not restricted by limited tort election.

 

  1. Jury Information. The jury should not be informed of the plaintiff’s election of limited tort and that the election resulted in lower premiums.  Price v. Guy, 735 A.2d 668 (1999)

 

  1. Summary Judgment. The threshold determination as to whether a “serious injury” has been suffered is not to be made routinely by a trial court judge but rather left to the jury unless reasonable minds could not differ on the issue of whether a serious injury had been sustained.  The factors to be considered in determining if a claimed injury is “serious” are:

 

(1)  the extent of the impairment;

(2)  the length of time the impairment lasted;

(3)  the treatment required to correct the impairment; and

(4)  any other relevant factors.

 

The focus is not on the injuries themselves, but on how the injuries affected a particular body function.  The impairment need not be permanent.  Summary judgment was improperly granted to insurance company where claimant had shown that she was diagnosed with no less than eight (8) ailments, which her treating physician stated to a reasonable degree of medical certainty were a direct result of the accident.  The claimant described at length how her daily life had changed because of the pain she has and continues to endure.  Medical treatment was not continued because the claimant did not have health care insurance.  Cadena v. Latch, 78 A.3d 636 (Pa. Super. 2013).

Definitive objective medical opinion identifying the cause of injured party’s pain is not necessary to overcome motion for summary judgment.  Wilson v. Fisher, 21 Lyc. 1 (1999).  Plaintiff, seeking noneconomic damages for “serious injury” introduced evidence that he continued to seek treatment and medication for back injury since accident; however, there was evidence of no “disc herniation or significant disc disease.”

Financial Responsibility Law – First Party Benefits

Change in mandatory first-party benefits.  Under the present law, there is mandatory insurance requiring all motor vehicles to provide first-party benefit coverage of $10,000.00 in medical expenses, $5,000.00 in income loss, and $1,500.00 in funeral benefits.

 

  1. First-party benefits as “no-fault.” First-party benefits are the “no-fault” concept, meaning that without regard to the question of fault, the injured party, at a minimum, has the first $10,000.00 in medical expenses covered, the first $5,000.00 in income loss covered, and the first $1,500.00 in funeral expenses covered under the applicable insurance policy covering the accident in question.

 

  1. Minimum policy. If the minimum policy is in force, and any of these economic losses are exceeded, the plaintiff retains the right to sue for the economic losses in excess of those minimum limits.

 

  1. Medical benefits. Effective July 1, 1990, required insurance coverage is limited to $5,000.00 in medical benefits.  There no longer is any requirement for income loss or funeral benefits.  Income loss and funeral benefit expense coverage will be available to insureds as options, but no longer are mandatory.

 

4.1      Lack of coverage for income loss benefits under an insured’s policy does not entitle insured to those benefits from a car policy in which he is not a named insured, but was the driver.  Wheeler v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 905 A.2d 504 (Pa. Super. 2006).

 

4.2      Injured employee who had opted not to purchase no-fault income loss coverage with her automobile insurance company was not “eligible” to receive income loss benefits under Section1712(2) merely because she could have chosen to purchase them. A person is “eligible” under MVFRL, Section 1722 to receive income loss benefits when he has actually purchased such benefits.  Carroll v.Kephart, 717 A.2d 554 (Pa. Super. 1998).

 

4.3      Income loss benefit cannot be considered payable when coverage is denied; therefore, Section1722 does not preclude a claim for the same. Eberhart v. Zemko, No. 03-01733, CCP Lycoming, Kieser, J., Opinion and Order 10/27/04.

 

4.4      Chiropractors may delegate certain non-specialized aspects of performing adjunctive procedures to unlicensed support personnel.  The question is whether those procedures require specialized, chiropractic education or training.  Where delegation is permitted, reimbursement will be provided under the medical payments portion of the coverage.  State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Cavoto, 34 A.3d 123 (Pa. Super. 2011).

 

  1. Optional benefits. Since these other types of first-party benefits are options, an additional premium will be charged for those benefits.

 

  1. Adequate coverage. We are suggesting that serious consideration be given to an adequate first-party benefit package.  Those who have minimum first-party benefit coverage should give serious consideration to purchasing at least the medical and income loss first-party benefits.  The reason for this suggestion is twofold:

 

6.1      It is conceivable that an accident will occur in which one of our clients is at fault, or in the situation where no one is at fault.  Since first-party benefits are paid irrespective of fault, the higher the first-party benefit limits, the greater the protection against an economic loss for which there is no coverage.

 

6.2      Assuming that there is a liability situation so that ultimately these economic losses could be recovered from the responsible party, it usually takes at least a year to file, process, and bring to conclusion a liability lawsuit, and during that interim period, incurred medical expenses in excess of $5,000.00 would have to be paid out of the client’s pocket, and there would be no reimbursement for income loss if higher first-party benefit limits are not elected.

 

  1. Provider Remedy.

 

7.1      Chiropractors have a private cause of action for interest as a result of late payments, even though law does not specifically create a private remedy.  Schappell v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company, 934 A.2d 1144 (Pa. 2007).

 

7.2      Section 1797 of the MVFRL authorizes insurance companies to pay less than medical providers’ customary charges if those charges exceed statutorily defined thresholds.  Pittsburgh Neurosurgery Assoc. v. Danner, 733 A.2d 1279 (Pa. Super.1999). Insured’s medical bills were paid by his insurance company pursuant to the MVFRL cost containment provisions.  After insured’s first party medical benefits were exhausted, provider sought additional sums from insured for the fair market value of its services.  Court held it would be against public policy to allow provider to receive fair market value.

 

  1. Statute of Limitations.

 

8.1      Statute of limitations begins to run on date the injury is sustained, and not when injured party knew or should have known that medical costs would exceed first party medical benefits. Injured party had elected limited tort with first party $10,000 medical benefit.  After the two-year statute of limitations had expired, she sued driver of second car involved in accident for compensatory damages for medical expenses in excess of her 1st party medical benefits. Summary judgment for second motorist affirmed.  Haines v. Jones, 830 A.2d 579 (Pa. Super. 2003)..

 

8.2      “Choice of law” analysis does not apply in determining the applicable state statute of limitation law because it is a procedural law issue.  Pennsylvania passenger riding in car belonging to Pennsylvania resident, was injured in an accident in New Jersey.  New Jersey’s two-year statute of limitations applied to passenger’s claim for additional first person medical benefits from driver’s insurer’s under New Jersey’s “deemer” statute.  Wilson v. Transport Ins. Co., 889 A.2d 963 (Pa. Super. 2005).

 

8.3      The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the accident, and not on the last day of payment.  A general release is not a payment under Section 1721 when an injured party is precluded from recovering first party medical benefits. Accident occurred on June 1, 1995.  Provider unsuccessfully argued that statute of limitations began to run on June 9, 1997, the date the injured party, her employer and its insurer signed “general release of all claims” for consideration of $45,000.  Court held the statute of limitations expired on June 1, 1999.  Philadelphia Ambulatory Care Center, Inc. v. Rite Aid Corp., 805 A.2d 613 (Pa. Super. 2002).

 

8.4      The statute of limitations to recover first party benefits filed by pedestrian shall be commenced within four (4) years from the date of the accident giving rise to the claim.  If first party benefits have been paid, an action for further benefits shall be commenced within four (4) years from the date of the last payment. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1721(a), Glover v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 950 A.2d 335, 338 (Pa. Super. 2008).  The insurance company sued was that of the tortfeasor.  The tortfeasor could no longer be sued because the statute of limitations had already expired as to him because plaintiff sued decedent without suing his estate.

 

 

 

9.         Insurer’s Payment.

 

9.1      Insurer’s payment of first-party benefits under medical payments coverage does not constitute admission of causation.  Pantelis v. Erie Ins. Exchange, 890 A.2d 1063 (Pa. Super 2006).

 

  1. Who is entitled to First Party Benefits?

 

10.1    Owner of a registered but uninsured vehicle is not entitled to recover first party benefits when such owner is injured in an accident which does not involve the owner’s uninsured vehicle.  Swords v. Harleysville Ins. Co., 883 A.2d 562 (Pa 2005). Son was driving father’s registered and insured vehicle, when he was involved in an accident.  Son’s own vehicle, not involved in the accident, was registered but uninsured.  See also Bryant v. Reddy, 793 A.2d 926 (Pa. Super. 2002).  Owner of registered, but uninsured vehicle cannot recover medical expenses and wage losses from other driver.  But see, Corbin v. Khosla, 42 A.3d 254 (Pa. 2012), for the proposition that uninsured driver may sue a responsible party for economic losses.

 

10.2    Owner of vehicle currently registered in another state, who does not have financial responsibility, may not recover first party benefits.  Santorella v. Donegal Mutual Ins. Co, 905 A.2d 534 (Pa.Super. 2006).  Insured, who moved from California to Pennsylvania, did not obtain insurance or register his car in Pennsylvania because he did not intend to drive it in Pennsylvania during the winter.  Car was still registered in California when insured was injured in another person’s vehicle. Insured’s claim for first party benefits denied due to failure to maintain financial responsibility over California registered car.

 

10.3    Former foster child was entitled to first party benefits as a “ward” under insured’s policy, even though there was not a court order regarding foster child status. Donegal Mut Ins. Co. v. Raymond, 899 A.2d 357 (Pa. Super. 2006).  Former foster child returned to live with insureds, his former foster parents, at his request, hours before he was injured in accident.

 

10.4    Insurance policy cannot narrow the MVFRL’s definition of “insured”. Walker v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 21 Lyc. 243 (2002).  Decedent pedestrian, who was co-owner of covered vehicle, was listed by name on the policy, and identified by sex, marital status, and birth date by insurer records, did not come under policy definition of “named insured”; however she did come under the MVFRL’s dentition of “insured”.

 

10.5    Minor passenger on snowmobile, which was struck by car as it crossed the highway, cannot recover first party benefits, as snowmobile is recreational vehicle not intended for highway use.  Gallo v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 791 A.2d 1193 (Pa. Super. 2002).

 

  1. First party benefits under ACP (Assigned Claims Plan).

 

11.1    Uninsured Occupants of an Illegally Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  Uninsured occupants of an illegally uninsured motor vehicle, who are not entitled to first party benefits under any insurance policy, are entitled to seek benefits from the ACP.  Hester v. Pa. Financial Responsibility, 743 A.2d 926 (Pa.Super. 1999). Injured parties were passengers in an uninsured vehicle, which was required to be insured.  See also Ortiz v. Gamble, 759 A.2d 408 (Pa. Super. 2000).

 

11.2    Occupant.  Uninsured pedestrian transferring from one SEPTA bus to another is struck by an unidentified and presumably uninsured vehicle.  SEPTA is self-insured and obligated to carry first party benefits and uninsured motorist coverage. The coverage requirements should be provided by the Assigned Claims Plan (ACP) and not SEPTA since when the passenger was transferring from one SEPTA vehicle to another she was not to be considered an “occupant.”  Jones-Molina v. SEPTA, 29 A.3d 73 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011).

 

  1. Lack of Counsel.

 

Pennsylvania Insurance Guaranty Association (PIGA) had a right to set aside any default judgment that was entered against the insolvent insurer while it was in rehabilitation or receivership and was unable to defend a claim on the merits.  Ascher v.  Pennsylvania  Ins. Guar. Ass’n, 722 A.2d 1078 (Pa. Super. 1998). Insurance Company had been declared insolvent and was in receivership when class action suit was brought against it.  Insurance Company was not represented by counsel at trial, and jury verdicts were returned against it.

 

  1. Peer Review.

 

13.1    Insured’s Standing.  An insured under an insurance policy has a direct, immediate, and substantial interest in enforcing the terms of the policy and in judicial resolution of a dispute over coverage for medical expenses, regardless of determination of peer review organization. Kuropatwa v. State Farm, 721 A.2d 1067 (Pa. 1998). More than two years after accident and medical treatment, insured received additional medical treatment.  Insurer denied benefits on basis of PRO, which determined additional treatment was not medically necessary.

 

13.2    Attorney’s Fees.

 

13.2.1 Submission to Peer Review Organization.  In this case, provider was a chiropractor whose bills were not entirely paid after State Farm submitted the bills to a peer review organization pursuant to Section 1797(b) of the law.  The PRO determined that certain chiropractic treatments were not necessary or reasonable.  The insurer therefore refused to pay for such treatments.  The provider chiropractor who commenced a civil action for his bills together with a request for attorney’s fees and triple damages.  The court ruled that the attorney’s fees section of 1797(b)(4) only applied where the insurance company did not first submit the bills to a peer review organization.  If a peer review organization was utilized first, then attorney’s fees cannot be collected by the provider when they sue and win. The legislature has provided for fee awards only in relation to matters pursued under subparagraph (b)(4), 75 Pa.C.S. § 1797(b)(6), which applies only to insurer refusals-to-pay for treatment “the reasonableness or necessity of which the insurer has not challenged before a PRO,” § 1797(b)(4).  Herd Chiropractic Clinic v. State Farm, 64 A.3d 1058 (Pa. 2013).

 

Travelers refused to pay for physical therapy in connection with 2008-2009 claims based upon 2003 peer review.  The parties agreed that the fees were reasonable and necessary.  The insurance company had done a defense medical examination in ’03 in connection with whether the physical therapy was as a result of an automobile accident.  InHerd, supra., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insured cannot recover attorney’s fees pursuant to § 1797(b)(4) and (6) of the Financial Responsibility Law if the charges and treatment at issue were submitted to a PRO for a determination of whether they were reasonable and necessary.  Here, the court determined that Travelers Insurance Company did not avail itself of the peer review process and hence attorney’s fees were properly awarded to the insured.  The claim that Travelers denied payment of the 2008-2009 bill based upon 2003 peer review is not supported by the record.  A defense medical examination is not the equivalent of peer review, even if it was run through a peer review organization.  The insured pled a violation of the Financial Responsibility Law.  The trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. § 1797(b)(4) and (6).  Levine v. Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Company, 69 A.3d 671 (Pa. Super. 2013).

 

13.2.2 Completed Review.  The Superior Court of Pennsylvania determined that the trial court erred in determining that Doctor’s Choice could not recover attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 1797(b)(6) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law based on Travelers’ mere referral of disputed bills to a peer review organization when no valid peer review was performed.  The legislature intended that there be a successfully completed peer review process before an insurance company can avoid paying attorney’s fees in a situation where they did not pay medical bills.  Doctor’s Choice v. Travelers Personal Insurance, 92 A.3d 813 (Pa. Super. 2014).

 

 

 

  1. Release.

 

There is no valid settlement agreement when insured fails to comply with condition of signing and returning the general release.  Cawthorne v. Erie Ins. Group, 782 A.2d 1037 (Pa. Super. 2001).

 

  1. Cost Containment – Section 1797(a).

 

Self-insurers such as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, are subject to the cost containment provisions found in § 1797(a) of the Financial Responsibility Law.  Self-insurers, like all other insurers, must provide a medical benefit in the amount of $5,000.  SEPTA paid the medical providers’ bills without adjusting them first, and capped payment for each accident victim at $5,000.  The injured parties, after they settled their tort cases, filed a class action alleging that SEPTA was required to make PIP benefit payments in accordance with § 1797(a) of the MVFRL, a cost containment provision that requires insurers to adjust medical providers’ bills and pay medical expenses at no more than 110% of the allowances applicable under the Medicare program.  75 Pa.C.S. § 1797(a).  Houston v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 19 A.3d 6 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011).

Seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a car crash

Pennsylvania residents who have been injured in a serious accident are often left physically and financially devastated. If this happens, it is completely understandable for these victims to wonder what kinds of damages can be recovered and what steps need to be taken in order to obtain monetary compensation. In this week’s post, we are going to cover the types of damages often sought by those who have been injured in a car crash.

Generally speaking, there are three basic categories in which most people will attempt to recover financial losses incurred in an accident. These typically include medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Emergent medical care and the rehabilitation often required after a serious car wreck can add up in the blink of an eye. Common damages sought may include transportation fees, provider costs, medical equipment expenses and numerous other costs specific to the injuries suffered. A monetary judgment that takes all of these expenses into account can be awarded if claims are successfully litigated.

When it comes to pain and suffering and lost wages, several factors are typically considered before a dollar amount is set for compensation. These factors may include the victim’s age, the seriousness of the injury, future pain associated with the injury, the victim’s ability or inability to return to work in the future and a myriad of other issues. As physical injuries can have life-changing effects on a person’s overall quality of life, these types of damages — if awarded — can help ease any financial strain, allowing victims the ability to receive the care they desperately need when they need it.

There is no doubt about it, the damages incurred in a car crash can be overwhelming. Pennsylvania residents who have been injured in such an incident do not have to face the situation alone. An experienced personal injury attorney can help those injured fight for the maximum amount of compensation allowable under state laws, by filing and litigating personal injury claims in civil court.

Car crash in Pennsylvania claims 2 lives, injures 1

Fatal car accidents can leave any surviving victims and/or family members of the deceased with a number of questions. It is simply difficult to lose a loved one, or move past an incident, when it feels like those questions will go unanswered. A car crash in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of two women and left another individual injured. Sadly, the driver deemed responsible for this collision didn’t survive, leaving authorities, the surviving victim and family members of both of the deceased to wonder why this accident had to happen.

This terrible accident occurred at the end of December in the western part of the state. According to Pennsylvania State Police, a 23-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle and, ultimately, ended up in the path of oncoming traffic. She collided head-on with the car of a 19-year-old woman. Both women died in the crash.

A passenger in the 19-year-old’s vehicle survived the wreck. A 24-year-old male was transported to a local hospital for care with unspecified injuries. His current condition is unknown. However, police indicated his injuries did not seem to be life-threatening.

Even though the driver believed responsible for this car crash did not survive the collision, both the injured victim and the family members of the decedent have the right to pursue legal claims against her estate and any all registered owners of the vehicle she was operating. Wrongful death and personal injury claims, if properly litigated in a Pennsylvania civil court, can result in compensation for the many different losses encountered in this wreck. These may include medical costs, funeral expenses, pain and suffering and a number of other possible items deemed recoverable according to state laws.

Source: post-gazette.com, “Two killed in Greene County crash“, Dec. 30, 2014

Pennsylvania Trooper recovering after car accident

There is no question, law enforcement officers have a dangerous job. While they take many precautions to protect themselves while on duty, sometimes accidents happen. Currently, a trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police is recovering from injuries suffered in an auto-pedestrian car accident that occurred while on-the-job.

The incident occurred near the end of October in Westmoreland County when the trooper was called to clean up debris on Route 119 in East Huntingdon Township. He reportedly activated his emergency lights before entering the road to begin the clean up. While several cars slowed down while passing the trooper, an SUV operated by a 69-year-old male struck the policeman head-on. He was severely injured and was flown to a medical center for care. According to recent reports, the trooper has needed several surgeries to help repair the damage to his body.

At this time, it is too early to tell how these injuries will affect his ability to resume normal functions. This individual has served with the Pennsylvania State Police for 15 years and is highly respected among his peers. It is unclear if any charges will be filed against the driver. This has truly been a tragic incident for everyone involved.

A car accident like this one can have life-altering consequences. In this particular case, the future of the trooper is still unknown. While the accident did occur on-the-job, he will likely be eligible for any applicable workers’ compensation benefits, though these benefits may not provide adequate coverage for such serious injuries. A separate personal injury claim against the driver deemed responsible for the collision may also be appropriate. If successfully litigated in a Pennsylvania civil court, it could grant further compensation for any current and future losses related to the accident.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, “State Trooper Hit By Vehicle In Westmoreland County“, Oct. 29, 2014

Distracted driving an issue with teenage drivers in Pennsylvania

One of the main highlights in a teenager’s life is getting a driver’s license. Driving gives these young individuals a sense of freedom and independence but with this independence also comes great responsibility that not all teens seem to fully understand. Unfortunately, inexperience behind the wheel and behaviors that lead to distracted driving often result in car accidents — some with tragic outcomes. As this coming week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, it seems an appropriate time to discuss the different problems Pennsylvania teens may face while driving and what steps should be taken if an accident does occur.

Teenage drivers face the same kinds of problems other drivers do, but their lack of experience can put them at a disadvantage as far as not knowing how to appropriately handle these issues. The main problems facing drivers are driving while impaired, texting, other distractions and fatigue. A fair amount of accidents can be attributed to texting while driving, but several other distractions can take a driver’s eyes off the road for just as long as it takes to look at, or sending a text. Some of these distractions include:

  • Applying makeup
  • Adjusting music
  • Focusing on passengers

All of these activities are avoidable, and those who make a conscious effort to avoid them will protect not only themselves but their passengers and others on the road. If an accident does occur, there are certain steps drivers should take if they are physically able to. Some of these steps include calling 911 if anyone is injured, or the police, to report an accident without injury, call parents or a legal guardian for help if needed, exchange information with the other driver and any witnesses and take photos of the scene if at all possible.

Teenage drivers can greatly benefit from proper driver’s training, good role models and even family rules about driver safety. As distracted driving can have serious consequences, educating young drivers about the dangers these behaviors impose may save their life and the lives of others. If any form of distraction or negligence can be tied to the cause of an accident, victims of these incidents may file civil claims in a Pennsylvania court and could be granted compensation for any damages sustained.

Source: teendriving.com, “Avoiding Accidents“, Oct. 12, 2014

3 injured in single-vehicle car crash in Pennsylvania

Mistakes are sometimes made while driving, and if panic sets in, drivers may tend to overcompensate. That often leads to further complications. Overcompensating for a decision made when behind the wheel causes quite a few accidents in Pennsylvania and across the country every year. A recent car crash in Middletown appears to be one of these accidents, and three people were injured as a result.

The collision occurred recently in the early morning hours on Interstate 95 near East Lincoln Highway. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the driver of a sedan, a 26-year-old male, somehow ended up on the left shoulder and then over-corrected and struck an embankment on the right-hand side of the road. The vehicle flipped on its roof before coming to a stop. The driver and two passengers in the car suffered moderate injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital for care.

At this time, it is unknown what factors may have contributed to this incident. According to police, authorities are still in the process of investigating all possible causes. It has been reported that charges are likely to be filed against the driver, though specific details were not released.

A car crash, whether involving a single-vehicle or multiple-vehicles, that results in injury is a serious matter. In this particular case, the injured passengers may be entitled to pursue personal injury claims against the driver if negligence is suspected in causing the wreck. If the driver is found liable to the satisfaction of a Pennsylvania civil court, financial compensation may be granted for each successfully litigated claim.

Source: buckscountycouriertimes.com, “Three hospitalized Sunday following crash on I-95 in Middletown“, Anthony Dimattia, Sept. 28, 2014

Distracted driving a concern to all drivers and can be avoided

Just about everyone knows that driving while impaired is a serious offense and puts lives at risk; however, few consider how significant an impact distractions have on a driver’s attention, which can create an equally dangerous situation. Distracted driving can be seen around Pennsylvania every single day on a number of levels. Fortunately, not all incidents result in an accident but those that do are often quite serious.

Drivers are subjected to multiple distractions every time they get in their vehicles, which puts them at greater risk of being involved in an accident. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, approximately 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-collisions are the result of some type of driver distraction. There are several categories under which distractions exist, including:

  • Cognitive Distraction
  • Visual Distraction
  • Auditory Distraction
  • Biomechanical Distraction

From looking away from the road, listening to music, talking on cell phones and/or playing with buttons in your car, a number of activities qualify as distractions. With some effort, these distractions can be avoided. Sometimes, pulling over and taking a break, turning down music and refusing to answer a cell phone can make all the difference and help drivers stay focused on the task at hand. Accidents do happen, even to the most attentive drivers, but making an effort to avoid distractions can help reduce the chances of an collision occurring.

The only thing a driver can control is what is going on in their own vehicle. Avoiding distracted driving takes a conscious effort, but it can’t be forced on other drivers. Pennsylvania residents who were injured in a distraction related collision (or the surviving family of a deceased victim) may be entitled to pursue legal action against the individual deemed responsible. Personal injury or — in the event of a fatal accident — wrongful death claims can be filed, and if liability is established, financial compensation may be granted to help recoup any damages resulting from the crash.

Source: dmv.org, “How To Drive Distraction Free“, , Sept. 19, 2014

BAD FAITH-DAMAGES-PUNITIVE

This is a bad faith insurance finding involving failure to provide waivers of UM/UIM coverage for commercial fleet policies.  Section 1731 applies to commercial fleet policies.  Section 1731 mandates that UM/UIM coverage must be offered in the commercial fleet policy context, and pursuantly, rejection of UM/UIM coverage is governed by Section 1731(b).  The jury charge, is helpfully set forth in this case.  The court properly explained to the jury that the policy issue included uninsured motorist benefits unless the insured signed a written rejection form, also referred to as a waiver form, before a loss occurred.  Section 1738’s stack UM/UIM coverage does not apply to commercial policies.  However, in this case the instruction was harmless error.  The rejection/waiver forms at issue consisted of a single page which contained verbatim the rejection language provided by Section 1731 and Section 1738.  Also involved was the jury instruction concerning fraud.  The jury instruction is set forth.  No mention of duty or fraud instruction was set forth.  Certain types of contracts create a confidential relationship and hence require the utmost good faith and full and fair disclosure of all material facts.  Although not instructed to find a duty on the fraud claim, the jury was properly instructed that, in order to conclude that the insurance broker was liable on the intentional interference with the contractual relationship claim, they must first conclude that there was a contractual relationship.  The jury found defendants liable under both the interference with contract and fraud claims.  Accordingly, the jury found that a contractual relationship exists between the parties.  The only basis for the contractual relationship was the insurance policy, which, as mentioned, is the type of contract that inherently creates a confidential relationship that requires the fair disclosure of all material facts.  Therefore, any error in the trial court’s instruction was harmless.

The question of reliance was addressed.  Justifiable reliance is typically a question for the finder of fact.  The court properly instructed the jury that the recipient an allegedly fraudulent misrepresentation is under no duty to investigate its falsity in order to justifiably rely.  Instead, reliance is justified unless the recipient knows the representation to be false or if its falsity is obvious.  There was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that this element was meant as a factual matter.  The jury concluded that a confidential relationship existed which required the utmost good faith and fair dealing in the full disclosure of material facts.  Confidential relationship alone was sufficient to justify reliance on misrepresentations.

Punitive damages may not be recovered for an action sounding solely in contract.  The trial court’s initial determination to preclude issue of punitive damages from reaching the jury was error.  Sufficient evidence existed to present the question of liability for an intentional wrong.  In light of this, the grant of a new trial on punitive damages was proper.

A duty of good faith extends to insurance brokers.

Although non-pecuniary harms are recoverable in an intention interference action, such an action cannot be maintained in the absence of pecuniary loss flowing from the interference.  The issue of delay caused by the broker’s conduct was sufficiently addressed at trial and was properly placed before the jury so as to determine the fact that pecuniary losses has a basis for emotional damages.

Plaintiffs were police officers employed with the Bristol Township Police Department when they were seriously injured by an uninsured motorist during the course and scope of their employment.  Bristol Township had a policy of automobile insurance through USI Holdings Corporation and others.  Bristol decided to discontinue its policy of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it failed to execute the appropriate waiver forms in order to reject coverage.

After the accident, plaintiff’s attorneys requested the waiver of UM/UIM coverage forms.  The managing director of Bristol Township backdated the forms.  USI knew the waiver forms were backdated.  USI did not disclose that information to plaintiff’s attorneys or to the insurance carrier when USI forwarded the signed waiver to those parties.

The claims advocate testified that he suggested that USI advise anyone inquiring about the waivers that Bristol rejected UM/UIM coverage and then wait for the attorneys to request supporting documentation.  Testimony revealed that USI was aware that the absence of the waiver forms presented a problem for USI.  The claims advocate at USI agreed that a broker might be subject to an E&O claim by an insurer for mistakes made by a broker such as failing to get a form signed, if that failure led to an unwarranted coverage obligation.

The plaintiffs and their attorneys relied on the signed waivers and representations from USI as proof that no UM/UIM coverage existed.  The matter went through arbitration proceedings.  Plaintiff’s attorney said if they had known that the forms were backdated they would have made a claim for UM/UIM coverage.

Once Zurich Insurance Company learned of the backdated waivers, it changed its position and agreed to pay UM/UIM benefits.

USI defendants were aware they had a responsibility to report claims or potential claims to Zurich.  Regardless of the backdating, since USI knew of the backdating, there was testimony that it had an obligation to advise that on the form that was forwarded to them, the date was incorrect.  It was deceptive not to reveal this.  Egan v. USI Mid-Atlantic, Inc., 92 A.3d 1 (Pa. Super. 2014).

ATTORNEY’S FEES-FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW-PEER REVIEW

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania determined that the trial court erred in determining that Doctor’s Choice could not recover attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 1797(b)(6) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law based on Travelers’ mere referral of disputed bills to a peer review organization when no valid peer review was performed.  The legislature intended that there be a successfully completed peer review process before an insurance company can avoid paying attorney’s fees in a situation where they did not pay medical bills.  Doctor’s Choice v. Travelers Personal Insurance, 92 A.3d 813 (Pa. Super. 2014).

Pennsylvania auto accident on turnpike costs a woman her life

Pennsylvania turnpikes allow traffic to travel at high rates of speed as they commute from one destination to another. When an auto accident takes place on one of these closed-in roadways, concrete walls and medians can easily be hit, causing serious damages to those involved. An auto accident recently took the lives of a woman and injured two others when the car they were in smashed into a concrete road division.

The late afternoon crash occurred when a car traveling on a local turnpike somehow lost control and slammed into the median division on the highway. The impact into the concrete wall caused the car to flip multiple times, throwing the two passengers from the vehicle. Driving at high rates of speed and then coming to a sudden and forced complete stop when a crash occurs can have devastating consequences for those traveling in the car.

The vehicle contained two passengers in addition to the driver, all who were hurt in the collision. The woman who had been driving the wrecked car and one of the ejected passengers were taken by paramedics to a nearby medical facility where they received treatment for their injuries. The other woman who was thrown from the car tragically lost her life during the accident.

Being thrown from a moving car during an auto accident can inflict injuries that may take many months from which to recover and require expensive medical care. A Pennsylvania passenger who has been seriously hurt or killed by the driver of the car they were in may need financial help to cover their medical costs. Some people may choose to get professional help when seeking insurance benefits and restitution for damages incurred in a crash in which they were injured or lost a loved one.

Source: wfmz.com, “Woman killed, 2 others injured in crash that closed Pennsylvania Turnpike“, , July 30, 2014

A motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania claims a life

Roar on the Shore is a fundraising bike rally that started in Pennsylvania in 2007, and it has since become an annual event held in Erie and other cities nationwide. This year’s turnout was incredible, with over 125,000 riders showing up to take part in the festivities. With the mass influx of riders and slippery roads due to weather conditions, a few accidents put a slight damper on the event. One motorcycle accident, in particular, involved another vehicle and had fatal consequences.

Three motorcycle accidents were reported during this year’s event. Two of them were fatal, though only one of those seemed to involve another vehicle. A 66-year-old man was riding his motorcycle on East 38th when a car apparently pulled in front of him. He didn’t survive the impact of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. Wet roads were considered a contributing factor in the other fatal crash.

While police have not released a statement regarding this motorcycle versus car collision, other bikers have a lot to say. Bikers are like one big family. When one gets hurt or killed, they all stand up for each other and request that drivers take care and lookout for motorcycles. These vehicles are smaller and harder to see, which is why accidents involving motorcycles are an all too common occurrence.

It is certainly sad that this fatal motorcycle accident occurred while the driver was riding for a good cause. If the car driver is deemed responsible for the collision, the victim’s family may elect to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. If liability is established to the satisfaction of a Pennsylvania court, financial compensation may be granted to the victim’s family. Hopefully any financial relief awarded may help with the economic losses suffered as a direct result of the accident and also provide some sense of closure during this difficult time.

Source: erietvnews.com, “Three Motorcycle Accidents In Just Three Days“, Mackenzie Stasko, July 20, 2014

Saturday motorcycle crash injures one man

One man was injured as a result of a motorcycle crash on Route 15 between the Trout Run and Cogan Station exits about 7 p.m. Saturday.

The cyclist was traveling on Route 15 heading south when he lost control of the bike and skidded about 150 feet on the road, according to the Hepburn Township Fire Chief Jeff Tempesco.

While the reason for the crash still is under investigation, it is possible a bird flew into the bike and caused the driver to lose control, the chief said.

The driver was seriously injured and taken to Williamsport Regional Medical Center via ambulance. A medical helicopter was on standby at the scene. The driver’s identity has not been released.

The crash affected traffic on both sides of the highway, halting drivers on the south side of the road and reducing the north side to one lane.

South Williamsport and Old Lycoming Township police, Old Lycoming Township Fire Co., Loyalsock Township and Trout Run ambulances and fire and police personnel were on the scene.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

2 Flown from I-180 crash

Two people suffered serious injuries and were flown by medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville following a single-vehicle crash at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, city police said.

The two were traveling east on Interstate 180 near the Market Street Bridge when their car went off the road and into the median between the east and west lanes.

The cause of the crash still is under investigation, Sgt. Kris Moore said.

As of Sunday evening, the two were in stable condition, according to Moore, who did not release the victims’ names.

Along with city and state police, fire crews from Loyalsock Township, Williamsport and Old Lycoming Township and Susquehanna Regional and Loyalsock EMS responded to the scene.

Traffic was stopped on both sides of the highway for about an hour before being opened to single lane travel. All lanes were re-opened at 6:23 p.m.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Route 414 crash kills woman

GRANVILLE SUMMIT – A Towanda woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash at 12:25 p.m. Thursday.

Hila Strope, 48, was traveling east on Route 414 when she lost control of the vehicle and traveled onto the east berm, state police at Towanda said.

Strope overcorrected and traveled across the roadway to the west berm. When her vehicle re-entered the roadway, it collided with a truck driven by William Schaen, 64, of Grantsville, Maryland.

Strope was pronounced dead at the scene by the assistant Bradford County coroner.

Schaen suffered a minor injury.

Assisting at the scene were state Department of Transportation, Memorial EMS and Franklindale and Canton fire departments.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Identities of motorists involved in I-180 wreck released

City police have released new details on Sunday afternoon’s Interstate 180 crash, including the identities of those involved.

Driver Thomas Moore, of Philadelphia, and passenger Jennifer McDermott, of Philadelphia, were the two patients flown by medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Kenneth McCourt also was a passenger in the car. McCourt was not seriously injured.

Both McDermott and Moore were ejected from the vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, as it rolled into the median.

As of Sunday night, Moore was in fair condition and McDermott was in serious condition at Geisinger.

While the investigation of the crash is ongoing, reckless driving looks to have played a factor, police said.

One witness report stated that a dark blue or black truck was weaving in and out of lanes and passing vehicles on the highway when it cut off the Trailblazer in the passing lane. The witness told police that the SUV moved into the passing lane to avoid colliding with the truck and the driver of the Trailblazer lost control, causing the vehicle to travel back into the passing lane and begin to roll.

Other reports say that the Trailblazer was the vehicle weaving in and out of lanes and that the driver lost control when he tried to avoid the truck.

Moore told police that he had been drinking and had smoked marijuana earlier that day.

Police reported that several empty and full beer cans were found scattered around the crash scene and in the vehicle.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Man from Tioga dies of injuries following crash

MANSFIELD, PA – Richard Smith, 75, of Tioga, died of injuries he suffered when his pickup truck crashed into a utility pole on Ridge Road in Tioga Township about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, state police said.

Smith, who was not wearing a seat belt, was flown to Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, where he died of “internal injuries,” police said.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Injured motorcyclist identified by Police

MUNCY, PA – The motorcyclist injured Saturday night in a crash on Muncy Exchange Road was Chad Bowersox, 37, of Watsontown, according to state police. He remained in critical condition Sunday night, according to a nursing supervisor at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

Traveling south on Muncy Exchange Road, Bowersox lost control of the cycle as he came up over a hill where the road intersects with Kepner Hill Road, police said.

The cycle went down on its right side as Bowersox slid across the northbound lane, police said. He was then run over by a northbound Jeep Cherokee, whose 17-year-old female driver from Williamsport was unable to stop in time, police said.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Area man dies in crash

BLOSSBURG, PA – A 44-year-old man died of injuries he suffered when his car and a pickup truck collided head-on along Ogdensburg Road in Tioga County’s Hamilton Township about 3:50 p.m. Saturday, according to state police.

Tyler M. Cohick, of Roaring Branch, was not wearing a seat belt when his southbound 1999 Buick Century crossed the center line and collided in the northbound lane with a 2008 Dodge Ram driven by David L. Myers, 67, also of Roaring Branch, police said.

Myers was flown to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre while a passenger in his vehicle, Sharon Myers, 68, of the same address, was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro. There was no information available about their medical conditions.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Car accident history at Pennsylvania intersection prompts change

A car accident can happen to anyone, just about anywhere. While these accidents can vary in their severity, some can have long-lasting or even deadly consequences. Recently, a Pennsylvania intersection with an extensive car accident history has been facing scrutiny from local residents, leading city officials to question why this particular intersection is causing so many issues.

Earlier this year, residents of Rostraver Township supplied the city commissioner with a petition requesting changes to be made at a local intersection. In total, 300 signatures were collected. Complaints about the intersection include problems with speeders and drivers making U-turns, leading to collisions. Residents would like to see a traffic light installed to reduce accidents on this busy street.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reviewed accidents at the intersection in question and determined that the majority of the incidents occurring in the last five years involved vehicles making left hand turns. It has been decided that a “no left turn” sign would be added, as well as having an island installed to enforce the change. With 25 reported accidents occurring at this intersection — one of them resulting in a fatality — residents are slightly disappointed that a light can’t be installed due to cost but feel this small change may help prevent future collisions.

A car accident that results in injury or death is certainly something that should be taken seriously, not only by residents, but city officials as well. Victims of such car accidents, or their surviving family members, retain the right to pursue legal claims against the driver deemed responsible for the crash and possibly any government entity responsible for maintaining safe road conditions. If either is found liable for injuries or deaths suffered as the result of a car accident, a Pennsylvania court could order that the victims, or their family members be entitled to a monetary judgment in their favor. This judgment could provide financial relief for any outstanding expenses and other damages accrued in relation to the incident.

Source: triblive.com, “Traffic pattern changed at Rostraver intersection“, Chris Buckley, July 12, 2014

Man hurt in cycle crash

A single-vehicle motorcycle crash seriously injured a Trout Run man. According to Old Lycoming Township police Officer Robert Cochran, David G. Oliver, 42, was traveling south on Route 15 in Lewis Township when something went wrong with his motorcycle.

Police are investigating what caused the crash. Pieces of the bike were seen falling while Oliver was traveling down the road before he lost control of the vehicle.

Oliver initially was transported to Williamsport Regional Medical Center and later was taken by medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Oliver was in critical condition as of Sunday night.

Traffic was halted in the southbound lanes of Route 15 for more than an hour. At one point, traffic across all four lanes was shut down to allow the helicopter to land.

Fire crews from Old Lycoming and Hepburn townships and Trout Run, Loyalsock EMS and state police assisted at the scene.

ATV involved in crash

LINDEN, PA  – A multi-vehicle crash in the 200 block of Sawmill Road resulted in at least one injury. An all-terrain vehicle was involved in the crash. Assisting on the scene were state police and Woodward Township Fire Co.

Efforts to get more details from state police at Montoursville were unsuccessful as of Sunday evening.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Man dies when car goes off road and plunges into creek

JERSEY SHORE – The body of a Jersey Shore-area motorist was discovered early Tuesday morning facedown in Antes Creek, just a few feet from the car he was driving when it went off Route 44 and crashed, landing in the waterway, about 2 miles south of here, according to the Tiadaghton Valley Regional police.

The driver was identified as Philip Kanski, of 149 Mantle Lane, Crawford Township, who had been missing since Monday morning when he failed to return home.

Friends looking for him discovered the wreckage and his body about 5:10 a.m.

Kanski, whose driver’s license had been revoked because of several motor vehicle violations in the past, was driving a friend’s 2002 Mercury Sable when he apparently lost control of the car as he was traveling south on Route 44 in Nippenose Township.

The car struck a tree, traveled down an 18-foot embankment and landed in the creek, which was about 2 feet deep. The demolished car was not visible from the road but, a damaged tree with its bark peeled off, caught the attention of two people who had been out looking for Kanski during the early morning hours.

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. pronounced Kanski dead at the scene of blunt force head trauma. Kanski was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car and thrown into the creek.

Kanski was last seen about 8 a.m. Monday when he left the Salladasburg-area home of his fiancee. It was believed that he was on his way to his house when the crash occurred.

Volunteer firefighters from Antes Fort and Jersey Shore as well as volunteer fire police and the state Department of Transportation responded to the crash.

It was stated that the body had clearly been in the water a considerable time.

There apparently were no witnesses to the crash, but Tiadaghton Valley Regional police are asking anyone who might have any information about the crash to give them a call at 570-398-2146.

Car crash shuts down Northway Road in Loyalsock Township

A vehicle crashed into a pole on Northway Road at about 9 a.m. Monday morning, causing traffic to be redirected.

PPL was at the scene to replace the utility pole while the section of Northway Road between Third Street and Sheridan Street was closed in both directions due to wires hanging over the roadway.

State police and Loyalsock Township Volunteer Fire Co. responded.

According to fire Chief Michael Minnier, someone was transported to Williamsport Regional Medical Center by ambulance from the scene.

The road was reopened to traffic at 3:05 p.m.

Efforts to get more details from state police in Montoursville were unsuccessful as of Monday evening.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Car crash shuts down Northway Road

A vehicle crashed into a pole on Northway Road at about 9 a.m. Monday morning, causing traffic to be redirected. PPL was at the scene to replace the utility pole while the section of Northway Road between Third Street and Sheridan Street was closed in both directions due to wires hanging over the roadway.

State police and Loyalsock Township Volunteer Fire Co. responded.

According to fire Chief Michael Minnier, someone was transported to Williamsport Regional Medical Center by ambulance from the scene. The road was reopened to traffic at 3:05 p.m. Efforts to get more details from state police in Montoursville were unsuccessful as of Monday evening.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

2 hurt in separate wrecks released from hospital

Geisinger Medical Center releases two crash victims seriously injured in separate wrecks. David King, 21 was injured when he was ejected from a horse buggy he was riding in on Nittany Valley Road in Clinton County’s Porter Township. The buggy was struck in the rear by a vehicle driven by Michael W. Stover.

Stanley Cary, Jr., 30, of Cogan Station was injured when his car crashed at Lycoming Creek Road and Route 973 in Hepburn Township.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Conditions of local accident victims updated

A 24-year-old motorcyclist who suffered major injuries in a two-vehicle crash at route 44 and 414 in Cummings Township about 11:30 a.m. on May 26 remained hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

At least 2 reported injured in crash

WATERVILLE, PA – A multi-vehicle crash on Routes 44 and 414 resulted in at least two injuries at 11:21 a.m. Monday.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

3 hurt in head-on crash Thursday night

Three men were injured when their two vehicles, a van and an SUV, collided head on Routes 44 and 654 in Limestone Township about 9:20 p.m. Thursday, according to Nippenose Valley Fire Chief Dean Miller. Both drivers were taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center by ambulances, as was a passenger in the SUV, Miller said. State police are investigating the crash.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Man faces charges following crash

COLLOMSVILLE – Thursday night’s violent two-vehicle crash on Route 44 that landed two men in a hospital intensive care unit was caused by a driver who admitted to “ingesting alcohol, cocaine and Valium less than three hours” before the collision, according to state Trooper Brian Evarts.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

ATV crash injures teenager

LAIRDSVILLE – A teenage girl was flown to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, for treatment of injuries she suffered when the all-terrain vehicle she was operating struck a tree on Cleman Hollow Road, about five miles east of here, in Franklin Township about 5:20 p.m. Saturday, according to Lairdsville fire officials.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Two vehicle crash in City results in minor injuries

The driver, a 22 year old female, of 310 S. Lincoln Ave., Jersey Shore, declined treatment for injuries she suffered in a two-vehicle crash at West Third and Hepburn streets about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, confirmed Williamsport police. However, the other driver, of Cogan Station, who was driving a pickup truck, was treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Serious injuries suffered in crash send woman to hospital

A New York State woman was hospitalized with serious injuries she suffered Wednesday night when her car, traveling west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 180, collided with the rear tires of a tractor-trailer truck just west of the Hepburn Street interchange, city police said.

Motorist ends up in jail after crash

The 21-year-old motorist who crashed into a property on Race Street late Tuesday night was brought before a judge Thursday afternoon to face charges of allegedly kicking a city police officer and a Lycoming County Prison correction officer.

Woodward Township Crash kills man, 34, Sunday morning

LINDEN – A 34 year old man from Lock Haven, died Sunday about 4:30 a.m. as a result of a vehicle crash in the 1300 block of Mahaffey Hollow Road in Woodward Township, according to Lycoming County Coroner Charles Kiessling, who pronounced Meixel dead at the scene.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Fatal crash in Union County

MIFFLINBURG PA – A man riding a motorcycle was killed when he collided with another vehicle on Forest Hill and Green Ridge roads in West Buffalo Township about 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, according to state police out of Milton.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259

Car accident in Pennsylvania sends a man to the hospital

It doesn’t take much to distract many drivers while in the car. Kids, phones, food, and so on can all create distractions that may take a driver’s eyes off the road. A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, so any time not focused on the road can lead to trouble. Unfortunately, disastrous consequences can result. A recent collision in Pennsylvania was reportedly caused by a distracted driver and resulted in injuries to another person.

The crash occurred in the middle of the night, near Jefferson Township. A 57-year-old male, driving a turnpike attenuator truck, was rear-ended by another vehicle while the driver was supposedly reaching for his drink. The victim’s truck was forced into a concrete barrier and soon after caught on fire. He had to be extricated from his vehicle by rescue teams before he was rushed to a hospital for treatment. His injuries were not specified but were initially characterized as moderate.

The other vehicle overturned and came to rest in the center lane of traffic. The driver was able to free himself from his vehicle. It is unknown if he suffered any injuries in the crash. Local authorities have not reported if any citations or charges have been filed in this case.

Pennsylvania residents who have been injured in a car accident may find themselves having to cope with the physical pain as well as financial hardship due to the necessary medical care. While the injured truck driver may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, there are other potential avenues of financial relief for him as well. A personal injury claim may be filed against the driver who apparently rear-ended the truck, based upon evidence of negligence. If liability is established in a civil courtroom, financial relief in the form of a monetary judgment may be awarded to help the victim recover and move forward with his life.

Source: wjactv.com, “Accident on PA Turnpike sent one worker to the hospital”, , April 1, 2014

Deer on roadway led to fatal crash

MANSFIELD, PA – A 29-year-old woman was killed early Tuesday morning when her car struck a deer and she swerved into the oncoming lane, colliding with a pickup truck on Route 287 in Middlebury Township, state police said.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Fatal crash on Interstate 80 in Clinton County

PORTER TOWNSHIP – A fatal crash occurred about 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 80. The driver was Ginger Peskura, 69, of Cleveland, Ohio.

Peskura was traveling west on I-80 in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am when she traveled off the roadway and lost control of her vehicle. Though she managed to steer back onto the road, she lost control and spun off the road before impacting a tree with the front right side of her vehicle. She was pronounced dead after being transported to Lock Haven Hospital

Nittany Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Dunnstown Volunteer Fire Department and Goodwill Hose Company assisted the scene.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Auto accident responsible for Pennsylvania man’s death

Victims of a car accident are not necessarily initially involved in the crash, but may have been an innocent bystander to the incident. These victims, who happen to be involved simply due to their proximity to the auto accident, often end up severely hurt and sometimes even succumb to their injuries. This just so happened to be the case in a recent accident that occurred in Pennsylvania.

The victim had been waiting in his car at a stop light when his vehicle was struck. Apparently, a bus was attempting to make a left hand turn when a passenger truck collided with it. The force of impact pushed the bus onto the victim’s car. The victim was transported to the hospital, but did not survive his injuries. The other two drivers were also taken to medical facilities for treatment.

The conditions of the other drivers have not been released to the public. At this point the cause of the initial crash is still unknown. Local authorities did not publicly announce that any citations were given or if any charges are pending against either driver.

An auto accident that results in the death of an innocent bystander can cause a lot of difficulty, emotionally and financially, for their surviving family members. These difficulties are not anything they should have to face alone in their time of need. If they desire, they may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against the driver who is found liable for the cause of the crash. A Pennsylvania civil court could grant monetary compensation to the victim’s family to help recoup any expenses and financial losses that may result from the accident.

Source: live5news.com, Man killed in school bus crash, No author, March 14, 2014

1-vehicle crash claims life of Morris Township man

WELLSBORO, PA – An elderly Morris Township man died in a one-vehicle rollover crash Sunday evening, according to state police at Mansfield. Tioga County Coroner Dr. James Wilson said the deceased is Albert Person, 70, of 1526 Oregon Hill Road.

According to Wilson, Person was traveling south on Route 287 in a Chevy Cavalier, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle crossed over into the opposing lane, where the car hit an embankment and rolled over, then hit another embankment before coming to a stop.

It is unclear whether Person was wearing a seat belt, but he was not ejected from the vehicle and there were no other occupants in the vehicle.

Person was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:10 p.m. by Deputy Coroner Jim Daugherty.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

1 Dead in fatal crash is result of wrong-way driving

PIATT TOWNSHIP – A man who turned into the wrong lane on Route 220 in Piatt Township Friday night caused a three-vehicle crash, killing himself and injuring his passenger and five others, police said. The crash occurred in the northbound lane of Route 220, heading towards Williamsport – the area where the road narrows down to one lane, near the railroad overpass. The crash closed down both the north and southbound lanes of Route 220 for nearly two hours.

Milton Boob, 80, was killed on impact while driving southbound in the northbound lane of Route 220 near the intersection of Route 287 at about 8:30 p.m. when he collided head-on with a car driven by Nathan Stewart, 28, according to state police.

A third car, driven by Kyle Mearkle, 20, was unable to avoid hitting Boob’s vehicle as it spun into his path.

Milton Boob was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple blunt force trauma, said Lycoming County Coroner Charles Keissling.

Several people were reported injured in the crash; some were taken to Jersey Shore Hospital and and two were flown to Geisinger Medical Center. Boob’s passenger, Esther Boob, 77, was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville where she was listed in critical condition Saturday night, according to a nursing supervisor.

Stewart and his passenger, Christine Muthler, 29, and Mearkle and his two passengers, Audree Mearkle, 20, and Christine White, 48, suffered varying degrees of injury, the extent of which are unknown at this time.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Man from Westfield, PA charged with fatal hit-run crash

TIOGA, PA A 44-year-old Westfield man was arrested and jailed Monday on charges stemming from a fatal hit-run crash that occurred more than seven years ago on Route 287, according to state police.

The driver, Simon Eugene Gigee, of the 900 block of Ladd Road, was arraigned before District Judge Robert Repard on two counts of crashes involving death or personal injury.

The charges stem from a late-morning crash three miles south of here on Oct. 27, 2006, that claimed the life of 34-year-old Rhonda Fromm and injured her 38-year-old husband, Michael. The couple lived in the Lawrenceville area.

Gigee fled the scene following the crash that occurred when a stolen homemade trailer his southbound pickup truck was pulling came detached from the truck.

The trailer crossed into the northbound lane and collided with the left front fender of a Dodge Intrepid driven by Rhonda Fromm. This caused the car to spin in a clockwise direction which then struck a guardrail before overturning on its roof.

Rhonda Fromm was pronounced dead at the scene by Tioga County Coroner Dr. James Wilson while her husband, a front-seat passenger, was treated at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro.

Gigee talked to several people about the crash “in their presence.” A woman riding with Gigee at the time of the crash “was located and named Gigee as the driver,” The woman’s identity was not released.

Gigee was committed to the Tioga County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Father and son hurt in Pennsylvania by a driver who was texting

Distracted driving is a real issue not only in Pennsylvania, but nationwide. The increased use of cellphones in cars is a major contributing factor in many of these distracted driving cases. Sadly, cellphone use while driving, particularly texting, often leads to accidents that result in severe injury to the victims involved.

An accident caused by a 27-year-old male who was reportedly texting three different friends at the time of the crash resulted in life-changing injuries to the victims in the vehicle he struck. A father and son were driving on a local street when their truck was literally crushed by the man’s car, causing devastating injuries. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on medical care, but the victims of this incident still deal with daily pain due to the accident.

Police ruled out speed, alcohol and drugs as contributing factors. Plain and simple texting while driving was the cause of the crash. The driver responsible for this crash was charged and convicted for the incident. He has spent time in prison and is currently completing community service and making restitution payments to his victims.

Sadly, texting and driving causes well over one million accidents a year. It is an unfortunate reality that far too many people believe this type of accident won’t happen to them until it is too late and others have been hurt in the process. Pennsylvania residents who have been hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver may seek restitution for their injuries. A personal injury claim can be filed against the driver responsible, and if that driver is found liable before a Pennsylvania civil court,financial compensation could be granted. This compensation can go a long way in recovering any financial losses that have accrued due to the accident and provide for the victim’s pain and suffering.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, Driver, Victim Speak on Dangers of Texting While Driving, David Chang, Feb. 27, 2014

Father and son hurt in Pennsylvania by a driver who was texting

LIBERTY, PA – According to Liberty Fire Chief Andrew O’Conners, The southbound lanes of Route 15 were closed for 10 hours Friday morning following a series of three crashes that involved a total of four tractor-trailer trucks.

The first crash involved a southbound rig loaded with household items that struck a rock embankment and jackknifed about 12:45 a.m. The truck’s trailer began rotating, and when that happened, the truck’s cab dislodged from the frame, police said. Half of the truck’s cargo spilled out onto the highway.

The driver, Brockport, N.Y., was treated at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro for moderate injuries and released.

The second crash happened moments later when a tractor-trailer, stopped for the first crash, was rammed in the rear by a third tractor-trailer.

Just as emergency responders began arriving on the scene, a fourth tractor-trailer crashed into the same rock embankment as the first rig and also jackknifed. None of the other truck drivers was injured.

A trailer loaded with huge bales of paper, also split open.

The pileup occurred about three miles south of here, in Lycoming County’s Jackson Township.

Along with firefighters from Liberty and Blossburg, state Department of Transportation employees also assisted in detouring traffic around the crash site.

One traffic lane was re-opened about 11 a.m. and the second was opened at 1:30 p.m.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Multi-vehicle car accident in Pennsylvania leaves several injured

Accidents can result in injuries and damage to personal property. Both can range from minor to catastrophic and may create significant financial difficulties to the victims involved. Pennsylvania residents who have been involved in a car accident that resulted in personal injury or damage to their personal property may be entitled to seek compensation for the losses they have experienced as a result.

A recent accident in Towanda is responsible for sending three people to the hospital. The accident occurred when the 21-year-old driver of a Jeep lost control of her vehicle causing her to cross the center line of traffic and crash into another SUV. Both cars then slammed into the concrete barrier on the side of the road. The driver of a third vehicle, in an attempt to avoid the wreckage, ended up hitting the backend of one of them, then struck another truck. In total, four vehicles were damaged and three of the drivers required medical attention.

All four vehicles had to be towed from the scene. The driver deemed responsible for this multi-vehicle wreck has been cited for the crash. Citations include driving at inappropriate speed, having and expired registration and not having liability insurance.

A car accident can cause physical injuries and damage to personal property. The driver responsible for this accident may face personal injury claims from those who were injured, as well as claims to recover damages to their personal property. If found liable for this wreck, a civil court in Pennsylvania could grant the victims of this crash financial restitution for their medical expenses and any other damages sustained in relation to the accident.

Source: stargazette.com, Police: 4-vehicle ar crash injures 3 in N. Towanda, No author, Feb. 12, 2014

Sheet of Ice Injures 2 Near Mall

Two people were injured and a portion of Lycoming Mall Road was closed for more than three hours following a four-vehicle crash in Fairfield Township.

The two who were hurt were taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Their identities were not available on Wednesday.

Emergency responders described the condition of the road as “a sheet of ice.”

After a pickup truck and a car collided head-on, two other vehicles slid off the road to avoid the collision, which occurred in the 4800 block.

Volunteer fire police closed the thoroughfare from Fairfield to Cemetery roads until the damaged vehicles were removed.

Shortly after the crash, a minor crash occurred in the 3600 block of Lycoming Mall Road, where a motorist slid off the road and struck a guardrail. No one was injured.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Man Dies In Crash Near Troy

TOWANDA, PA – Canton man, Richard King, 32, dies in a one-vehicle rollover crash on Route 14 near Troy Saturday. According to state police, King was traveling north on Route 14 in Troy Township when he lost control of his 1997 Chrysler Sebring while negotiating a right curve. King’s car crossed into the southbound lane and then back into the northbound lane, hitting a guide rail on the driver’s side. His car then traveled down an embankment, overturning about four times before coming to final rest facing east in the northbound berm. Although King was wearing a seat belt, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Hit-and-Run Crash Alleged

A Montoursville resident faces hit-and-run related charges for a crash that occurred in the parking lot of Weis Markets, 801 North Loyalsock Ave., Montoursville, on Dec. 1, Montoursville police said.

The driver allegedly fled the scene after the accident, but was followed by the victim who had called police and provided a description of the vehicle. Police caught up with the two vehicles and the victim pointed to the other driver’s car and he was soon stopped.

The driver was sent a summons to appear before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman for a preliminary hearing to face hit-and-run charges and a charge of driving without a license.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Route 220 Crash Claims Life of Driver

AVIS, PA – the suspected cause of a fatal crash that claimed the life of a man on Route 220 Saturday evening was due to debris on the roadway.

The single-vehicle crash, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m. between the Avis and McElhattan exits, was witnessed by Pine Creek Township police, who happened to be driving on the northbound side of Route 220 at the time, according to a Pine Creek Independent Volunteer Fire Co.

The driver swerved to avoid hitting a chair in the middle of the road.

The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene after he reportedly swerved to avoid debris and then lost control of the vehicle on Route 220 Saturday evening. The crash occurred between the Avis and McElhattan exits in Clinton County.

The truck rolled several times before sliding down an embankment and coming to a stop. The driver, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

State police and the county coroner’s office were on the scene but were not available for comment.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Pennsylvania man convicted for DUI that led to a car crash

It is a well-known fact that driving while impaired simply isn’t the smartest decision a person can make. Doing so puts not only the impaired driver at risk, but is also a danger to anyone who happens to fall in their path. Sadly, this is a choice far too many people continue to make and is responsible for the cause of a significant amount of injuries in Pennsylvania and across the country every year. Thankfully police and courts take DUI very seriously, and those responsible for a car crash while impaired often face criminal charges and possibly civil claims from their victims.

A recent accident on a local street in Clearfield County left a victim with serious injuries. The victim was driving eastbound when he saw a van driving recklessly; despite his best efforts to avoid the van, his vehicle was struck, and he was left with several injuries. Injuries suffered included a broken leg, fractured ribs, lacerated spleen and a separated shoulder. The driver of the van was apparently tested and showed a blood alcohol level greater than the legal limit. He was eventually charged with DUI and assault by vehicle.

The criminal case in this matter has recently come to a close, and the driver deemed responsible for this incident has been tried and convicted for his role in the accident. Due to a previous record of DUI, he was sentenced to serve four to eight years in prison. Along with a prison sentence, he has been fined and must complete education courses and a drug/alcohol assessment, among other things.

Victims of a car crash are left not only having to recover physically, but may also be hurt psychologically and financially. Accidents that result in severe injury can take a lot of medical care and rehabilitation time, which can create a significant financial burden for the victim. Those injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. If liability is affirmed, a Pennsylvania civil court could award the victim financial restitution to help cover the many expenses that could result from the incident.

Source: gantdaily.com, Man Gets State Prison for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle While DUI, Julie Rae Rickard, Jan. 26, 2014

Charges Filed Against City Police Officer in Fatal Crash

City Patrolman Jonathan Deprenda allegedly leap-frogged cars at 101 mph in front of him on the wrong side of the double-yellow-lined East Third Street and collided with an innocent motorist, killing him in a fiery explosion.

The City Patrolman, was seen leaving the Lycoming County Courthouse surrounded by supporters after his arraignment Tuesday morning.

The crash occurred nearly one minute after a radio call from the Lycoming County 911 Center indicated the pursuit to which Deprenda was headed was over.

Those are the circumstances laid out by state police that led Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt to file charges of vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment against Deprenda in the death of James David Robinson.

Robinson, 42, turned in front of the oncoming officer’s path as Deprenda was en route to assist another officer involved in a chase.

Twenty-two seconds before the crash, Officer Eric Derr radioed that he had the suspect at gunpoint near Almond Street and Grampian Boulevard.

“During a police pursuit, law enforcement must balance our duty to control crime and apprehend offenders with our responsibility to ensure the safety of all parties who potentially might be involved – the safety of police officers, the safety of suspects, the safety of victims, the safety of bystanders and the safety of the community, said Lycoming County District Attorney Eric Linhardt. “This balancing test has formed the cornerstone of pursuit policies, training and practice over the past several decades.”

The crash occurred about 6:48 p.m. Jan. 12 at East Third and Railway streets and was witnessed by people in vehicles behind Robinson’s, in a state police affidavit.

Deprenda, who has been suspended from the department with pay, was arraigned Tuesday morning in front of District Judge Allen P. Page III and released on $25,000 bail.

The evidence against Deprenda shows recklessness. The fatal collision between a police cruiser and a civilian car may influence the manner in which police respond in pursuits from this point forward.

Under the state vehicle code, a police officer may engage in a vehicle pursuit only if the officer does not endanger life or property. Otherwise, he or she may be charged with reckless operation of the vehicle.

Deprenda applied the brakes on his cruiser and at the time of the collision was traveling 88 mph, stated in the affidavit. Just prior to that, Deprenda was driving at speeds of up to 101 mph as he was passing cars.

There needs to be a balance of the needs of law enforcement with public safety. The DA went on to say that crashes occur regularly during high-speed chases, even though officers activate their sirens and emergency lights, as Deprenda had done.

Besides Robinson, Deprenda endangered other individuals in vehicles behind Robinson’s car.

The witnesses told police they saw Robinson turn into Deprenda’s path. One could see the flashing emergency lights and pulled over, but another said she didn’t hear the siren until Deprenda’s car zipped by.

Williamsport City Police Chief said Deprenda displayed a “terrible error in judgment.” The speed and manner in which he operated the cruiser was “unacceptable,”

“The police department has a duty to protect the public but also to seek the truth,” Campana said. “No one is above the law.”

Deprenda, if convicted, could face a maximum sentence of seven years for homicide by vehicle, five years for involuntary manslaughter and two years for reckless endangerment.

“Those are the maximums allowed by law which may or may not relate to applicable guidelines reviewed by court if and when he is convicted,” he said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 7 before District Judge Allen P. Page,III.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Motorist Killed, Sparks House Fire

Williamsport, PA man was killed in a fiery crash Sunday night when his car and a city police cruiser collided and then crashed into a utility pole and a building at East Third and Railway streets, knocking out electrical service for much of the East End of the city.

The car, believed to be a Chevy Impala, burst into flames, which quickly spread to the vacant apartment building at the northeast corner about 6:50 p.m.

The police officer, who reportedly was en route in a marked cruiser to assist other officers involved in vehicle pursuit several blocks north, was shaken up in the crash and was being treated at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.

One person was killed Sunday night when a car burst into flames at East Third and Railway streets in the city after colliding with a city police cruiser and crashing into a utility pole.

Killed in the crash was James David Robinson, 42, state police said in a news release.

Emergency responders said the officer, whose identity was not released, tried to reach the victim, but was driven back by the blaze.

State police are the lead investigators of the crash.

Both the officer and Robinson were traveling east on East Third Street when the vehicles collided.

The utility pole was severed by the impact, leaving a street light dangling in the middle of the road.

Firefighters, who were met with heavy black smoke and a ball of flames when they arrived on the scene, had to use extreme caution because of live power lines that fell in the street.

Sparks flew in several directions when the live wires on the damaged pole started arcing.

With the building already on fire, a second alarm was ordered, bringing additional manpower and equipment from Loyalsock Township, Montoursville, South Williamsport and Old Lycoming Township.

Assistant Fire Chief Todd Heckman, in charge of the fire scene, said the live wires did not prevent firefighters from attacking the apartment house fire as crews were able to stretch hoses through the back of the structure, which officials said was owned by Barry Eck.

Heckman declared the fire under control at 7:45 p.m. Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr., along with one of his deputies, arrived on the scene at about that time.

PPL crews also arrived and started making repairs and re-routing power through other lines.

An estimated 500 customers lost power, but service was restored to all but a handful of customers by 10 p.m., Teri MacBride, a PPL spokeswoman.

A trained state police accident reconstructionist was expected to assist city police with the investigation of the deadly crash.

Volunteer fire police from several fire companies assisted with traffic control at intersections where traffic lights were out.

City police Capts. Michael Orwig and Tim Miller held a brief press conference at City Hall hours after the crash.

Calling the crash “serious and tragic,” Orwig said the investigation was ongoing and that many questions remained unanswered as of Sunday night.

Miller said it was unknown if the officer had his cruiser’s emergency lights and siren on when the crash occurred.

The officer was expected to be taken off-duty and undergo “debriefing” as a result of the very traumatic event, Miller said.

The cruiser he was driving sustained heavy front-end damage and likely was totaled, city Police Chief Gregory Foresman, who also attended the press conference, said.

Few details of the pursuit were available, but the driver was in custody and was expected to be arraigned on numerous charges early this morning.

“The pursuit started in the center of the city and ended in the East End,” Orwig said.

“The vehicle being pursued crashed into a tree and the lone occupant was arrested,” Orwig said, adding that the crash occurred at Harding Avenue and Grove streets.

The driver’s identity was not released Sunday night.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Truck Driver Struck By Jeep Cherokee On Route 220 And Other Local Accidents

A truck driver who stepped out of his rig to get directions from another motorist was struck by a Jeep Cherokee on Route 220 near Queneshaque Road in Woodward Township about 10 p.m. Friday, according to township fire officials.

The trucker, whose identity was not available, was heading north towards Williamsport on Route 220 when he really wanted to get to Bellefonte, fire officials said.

He stopped his rig near Front Street and got out to talk with a driver sitting in a pickup truck when a northbound Jeep suddenly struck the rear of his trailer, firemen said.

The Jeep spun around and struck the trucker, pinning him briefly between the Jeep and the pickup, firefighters were told. The man was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center. No one else was injured.

About 20 minutes after this crash, a man and two women riding in his vehicle suffered minor injuries when their pickup truck slammed into a utility pole on South Main Street in Picture Rocks, fire officials said.

All three were taken by ambulances to the Muncy Valley Hospital. Their identities were not known Saturday night.

Three young people also suffered minor injuries when their car struck a guardrail on Route 118, near Old Lairdsville Road, in Moreland Township about 9:15 a.m. Saturday, according to Hughesville fire officials.

The three were taken by ambulance to the Muncy Valley Hospital.

State police are investigating all three crashes, but further details were not available Saturday night.

Concerning another emergency call, volunteer firefighters responded to the 2000 block of Route 44 in Mifflin Township for a reported utility pole on fire just before 9 p.m. Saturday.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Four Accused of DUI After Crashing Their Cars

Four motorists involved in separate crashes were all under the influence of intoxicants or controlled substances, according to court records.

Three of the cases are being handled by the office of District Judge in Jersey Shore.

The first driver of, 53, of Jersey Mills, had a blood-alcohol level of .19 when he lost control of his Chevrolet Suburban, which struck an embankment and overturned several times on Route 287, just south of Little Pine Creek Road in Pine Township about 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 5.

He has waived his preliminary hearing and is free on $1,500 bail.

“I’m drunk,” admitted a 30-year-old when a state trooper questioned him after his Jeep Grand Cherokee crashed in the 600 block of McGill Hollow Road in Woodward Township about 11:50 p.m. on Sept. 21.

He lost control of his vehicle on 5957 Lycoming Creek Road, Cogan Station, and said that he could not avoid the crash.

The state trooper investigating the crash said he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him. His eyes were bloodshot and glossy.

It was estimated that he had about “12 beers” before getting behind the wheel and that his blood-alcohol level was .23. He has been sent a summons to appear before the District Judge.

Another male driver, 23, of 166 Smith Court Circle, Piatt Township, had a blood-alcohol level of .12 when his pickup truck struck his neighbor’s mobile home on Smith Court Circle about 2 a.m. on Sept. 8.

Koenigsberg’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and his speech was slurred. He is free on $1,500 bail after waiving his preliminary hearing.

Another alleged intoxicated motorist who waived his preliminary hearing, 68 years old, and lives at 29 N. Montour St., Montoursville.

After his pickup truck struck a parked car in the 400 block of Jordan Avenue in the borough about 7:20 p.m. on Aug. 4, he continued driving to the 400 block of North Loyalsock Avenue, where his vehicle crashed into a tree, Montoursville police said.

“I had too much to drink,” the driver freely admitted to the police officer who responded to the crash. His blood-alcohol content level was .12, police said.

Charged with driving under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance as well as accidents involving damage to an unattended vehicle (hit-run), the driver waived his hearing before the District Judge and is free on $1,500 bail.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Female Involved in Car Crash

PENNSDALE – A woman is recovering with injuries she suffered in a crash in which her car crossed the median of Interstate 180 and became wedged under the rear duel wheels of trailer, which dragged her vehicle at least 100 yards on Dec. 29, 2013.

The woman was westbound on the interstate when her car struck a guardrail on the the north side of the road and then ricocheted across the median, colliding with an eastbound tractor-trailer loaded with potatoes in front of the Lycoming Mall.

After the car became wedged under a pair of tires and dragged, it broke free and landed back in the median, firefighters said. The car’s passenger section was pretty much crushed by the impact.

The woman was taken by ambulance, after being extricated from the wreckage, to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

State police investigated the crash, but as of Saturday night they had no information to release about the woman’s identity or her medical condition.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Overnight wreck strands family on rural road

RALSTON – An out-of-town Mennonite family of four was rescued after spending a chilly Friday night stranded in their Jeep stuck in a ditch on the back side of Ellenton Mountain. The father hiked several miles to get help, according to Ralston Fire Chief John Orr.

The family’s vehicle became disabled after it skidded off ice- and snow-covered Yellow Dog Road and landed in a drainage ditch in McIntyre Towship late Friday afternoon.

The parents and their two children, believed to be 1 and 3, were not injured, Orr said.

The mishap occurred “in a very remote area on a state forestry road that is not maintained, about two miles east of Rock Run.”

Although the father had a cellphone, there is no cell service in the area.

“It’s my understanding the father ran the vehicle throughout the night (to keep the family warm) until it ran out of gas.”

Sometime after daybreak Saturday, the father left his wife and the children in the Jeep while he hiked to an occupied home in the 2800 block of Ellenton Mountain Road, where he was able to get help about 9 a.m., Orr said.

A state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources forester picked up the father while volunteer firefighters from Ralston and Trout Run, using all-terrain vehicles, rescued his family at the crash site.

With the help of equipment from the forestry and fire departments, the couple’s Jeep was pulled out of the ditch, Orr said, adding that the vehicle could be driven. The family then continued on their way to their destination, a Mennonite camp on Ellenton Mountain Road.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

I-80 Rollover Crash – Two Injured

LOCK HAVEN – Two people were injured in a one-vehicle crash.

A 20 year old female of Exeter, was driving west on Interstate 80 near mile marker 181 when she swerved to the left to avoid a vehicle encroaching into her lane. She lost control of the 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix, slid off the road and rolled over several times.

She suffered moderate injuries and her passenger, also 20, from Wilkes-Barre, received major injuries and had to be extricated from the vehicle, police said. They were taken to Lock Haven Hospital.

Stacking Automobile Insurance Coverage

LOCK HAVEN – Two people were injured in a one-vehicle crash.

Stacking coverage allows you to increase the amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage by the number of vehicles on your auto insurance policy. If you have more than one vehicle on the same policy and choose to stack your coverage, your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage equals the sum of the coverage for all the vehicles.

Stacking of underinsured motorists’ benefits are permitted where the insured’s waiver of UIM benefits is void because of the insurer’s noncompliance with the MVFRL. Northwestern Nat. Cas. Co. v. Robson, 42 Pa. D & C. 4th 353 (1999).

Where an insured increases liability coverage, but does not execute a UM/UIM reduction or waiver, or receive a Section 1791 notice, insured is entitled to UM/UIM coverage equal to the increased amount of liability coverage. Cebula v. Royal & Sunalliance Ins. Co., 158 F. Supp.2d 455 (M.D.Pa. 2001).

MVFRL requirement that waiver of UM/UIM stacking be made by “first named insured” does not impose continuing obligation on insurer to acquire new stacking waiver in event of change to first named insured. Rupert v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 291 F.3d 243 (3rd Cir. 2002).

Stacking is permissible where an insured only seeks to recover first party benefits in an amount equal to the highest applicable single policy limit from insurance carriers of equal priority. Neilson v. Nationwide Ins. Co, 738 A.2d 490 (Pa. Super 1999).

Use for Hire Exclusion

Many Pennsylvania auto insurance policies include an exclusion for coverage known as the “cars for hire” exclusion. Such language states that the insurer will not pay for bodily injury or property damage caused by anyone using a car covered under this part to carry people or property for a fee. But you and a resident relative are covered if either of you cause an accident while a passenger in a non-owned car for hire.

So if you or a family member uses a personal vehicle to make deliveries, you should check your policy language for this exclusion, or be sure that the employer has complete liability coverage for you and your vehicle before you make deliveries.

For example in one case, the Pennsylvania court upheld claim denial and held “Use for hire” exclusion bars coverage even though a driver did not directly receive a fee, but rather his employer did. Brosovic v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 841 A.2d 1071 (Pa. Super. 2004).

In another case, the insured’s use of private vehicle to deliver pizza did not render his car a “car for hire”. Use of words “for a fee” in contract’s “cars for hire” exclusion was ambiguous, and therefore drafted in favor of insured. Prudential Property and Casualty Ins. Co v. Sartno, et al., 903 A.2d 1170 (Pa. 2006).

Finally, another Pennsylvania court held that the UIM exclusion “regularly used, non-owned vehicle” and “use for hire” applies to preclude payment because claimant operated a taxi during the accident.

Statute of Limitations in Automobile Cases

Pennsylvania’s four-year statute of limitations on underinsured motorist claims begins to run when the insured settles his claim with or obtains an award from the underinsured driver. Injured party’s claim against insurance company was not time barred. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Rosenthal, 484 F.3d 251 (3rd Cir. 2007).

In Hopkins v. Erie Insurance Co., 65 A.3d 452 (Pa. Super. 2013), the trial court denied petition to appoint arbitrators and to compel Erie Insurance Company to arbitrate, which was affirmed. Automobile accident occurred January 11, 1999. The petition for appointment of arbitrators and to compel arbitration was filed December 2, 2010. The underlying claim against the tortfeasor was settled and proof thereof was submitted to Erie on June 11, 2004.

There is no precedent under Pennsylvania law establishing when the statute of limitations for an underinsured motorist claim begins to run. The court held that the 4-year statute of limitations on underinsured motorist claims begins to run when the insured settles with or secures a judgment against the underinsured owner or operator. Therefore, in this case, the underinsurance motorist claim was barred by the statute of limitations. Settlement with the tortfeasor occurred on or about December 4, 2004, in order to settle, discontinue and end being filed January 6, 2005. The insured, therefore, had until December 4, 2008, to file their petition to appoint arbitrators and to compel arbitration. The insured was 2 years late.Hopkins attempted to rely on equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The court found no justification for declining equitably to toll the statute of limitations. Hopkins raised bad faith on the part of Erie, and hence an estoppel argument. The record is devoid of any action by Erie precluding appellants from petitioning for the appointment of arbitrators prior to December 2010. The fact that appellants had contact with Erie prior to the running of the statute of limitations does not place any onus on the part of Erie to assure that the insured files in a timely fashion.

Consent to Settle Clauses in Automobile Insurance and Liability

An insurance company cannot withhold its consent to a settlement unreasonably. It can, however, withhold its consent in good faith while it determines what will be paid in a lawsuit against others who also caused the insured’s loss. An insurance company can also protect its right to subrogation by withholding its consent. Courts will enforce a consent-to-settle clause to safeguard the subrogation rights of an insurance company.

An insured’s failure to obtain his or her insurance company’s consent to a settlement could result in a loss of coverage under the policy. While such a failure is a breach of the consent-to-settle clause, some courts require that the insurance company prove that the breach prejudiced its rights.

An insurance company can choose to waive the terms of the consent-to-settle clause. And a waiver could result if an insurance company fails to participate in negotiations to settle a claim. Of course, if an insurance company denies a claim, that denial operates as a waiver of the consent-to-settle clause.

Where the insured settles with a tortfeasor without the insurer’s consent, the insurer must demonstrate prejudice before it can invoke a “consent to settle clause”. Cerankowski v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins., 783 A.2d 343 (Pa. Super. 2001). In that case, insured, injured in automobile accident, settled her lawsuit against the manufacturer of the surgical equipment used to treat her. Her insurance company refused to pay the UIM claim on the basis that she had violated the consent to settle clause. See also Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., v. Lehman, 743 A.2d 933 (Pa. Super. 1999). Insurance carrier was not prejudiced when it withheld consent and did not pursue evaluation of tortfeasor’s assets.

Insurer’s use of “consent to settle” clause cannot deprive insured of benefits for which insured paid. Daley-Sand v. West American Ins. Co., 564 A.2d 965 (Pa. Super. 1989). Insured, who had UIM coverage with insurer, requested insurer consent to settle claim against other driver. Insurer, who had paid nothing, refused to sign consent to settle due to ongoing investigation. Insurer would not provide UIM benefits if insured settled with driver without insurer’s consent. Court held the clause was against public policy.

Arbitration in Automobile Insurance Cases

One way to resolve a car accident case without the delays of the court system is to use an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. Arbitration is one such mechanism. After entry of the arbitration award for a court administered arbitration, any party may demand a trial de novo after notice of the arbitration award. Trial de novo means the arbitration decision is stricken as if the arbitration never occurred. The decision has not precedential value to the ultimate decision in the case. There may be costs penalties if the judgment on the trial de novo is not more favorable than the arbitration award. If no written request for a trial de novo, the arbitration award becomes final.

There is generally no right to discovery in contractual arbitration. This decreases the costs of a lawsuit. Judicial arbitration usually permits discovery. Each party must deliver to the other party copies of the evidence planned to be presented to the judicial arbitrator. For judicial arbitrations, hearings may not be transcribed, and may not be used by parties as evidence even if they were. The arbitrator need not make any findings of fact or conclusions of law.

Arbitration clause allowing an insured to demand arbitration regarding coverage, does not pertain to someone who is not an insured. Northern Ins. Co., of New York v. Resinski, 827 A.2d 1240 (Pa. Super. 2003).

Arbitration panel does not have power to assess pre-award interest in non-compulsory proceedings, or unless the policy itself authorizes such action. Younkin v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 807 A.2d 275 (Pa. Super. 2002).

Any challenge to an arbitrator must establish substantial doubt as to arbitrator’s ability to act impartially. Sheehan v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 779 A.2d 582 (Pa. Super. 2001).

Insurance policy does not mandate arbitration when issue is whether family vehicle exclusion applies and policy clause mandates arbitration when there is a question regarding whether insured is legally entitled to collect compensatory damages. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Coviello, 233 F.3d 710 (3rd Cir. 2000).

Insurance policy cannot change Pennsylvania law requirement that challenges to arbitration awards occur within 30 days of award. Miller v. Allstate Ins. Co., 763 A.2d 401 (Pa. Super. 2000)

Pennsylvania Insurance Department does not have the authority to require mandatory binding arbitration for UM/UIM claims. Insurance Federation of Pa v. Dept. of Ins., 889 A.2d 550 (Pa. 2005). Insurance Company had filed a revision to its policy to eliminate arbitration provisions for UM and UIM disputes. The Pa. Insurance Department rejected the revision. Insurance Federation filed petition for declaratory judgment that Pa. Insurance Department did not have authority to require mandatory arbitration of UM and UIM coverage disputes. The court did not address whether the Insurance Department’s imposition of mandatory, binding arbitration upon uninsured and underinsured motorist disputes violates the constitutional right to a jury trial because it found the department had exceeded its authority.

UIM claims are outside the scope of arbitration agreement where title of policy is “Uninsured Motorists Arbitration” and not “Underinsured Motorists Arbitration.” Neuhard v. Travelers Ins. Co., 831 A.2d 602 (Pa. Super. 2003). Trial court erred when it ordered arbitration for UIM claim, as title of arbitration clause did not include such claims, and they were therefore outside of arbitration agreement.

Exhaustion clauses as a predicate for coverage under underinsurance provisions of an insurance contract are void as against public policy. As long as the insured credits the insurance company the face value of the adverse driver’s liability coverage, the insured’s underinsured motorist claim may begin before the claim against the adverse driver is settled. Harper v. Providence Washington Ins. Co., 753 A.2d 282 (Pa. Super. 2000). When Insured filed claim for UM/UIM benefits for damages in excess of those covered by the adverse driver’s policy, insurer argued the claim was premature under the contract because the insured had not yet exhausted the liability policy of the adverse driver. Court held arbitration does not need to be postponed. See also Krakower v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 790 A.2d 1039 (Pa. Super. 2001).

Subrogation and Reimbursement In Automobile Injury Cases

Depending on the circumstances of your accident and insurance coverage, your health care coverage provider may require you to reimburse them for the payments it has made on your medical bills out of the money you recover for your injuries. This is a process called “subrogation.” In a decision that had a huge and immediate impact on the way auto accident cases are litigated, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that HMOs have the right under Pennsylvania law to assert a subrogation claim against an accident victim’s tort recovery. In Wirth v. Aetna U.S. Health Care, plaintiffs lawyers argued that the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) prohibits subrogation in all auto accident cases, and that their clients therefore shouldn’t be forced to dip into their settlements or verdicts to reimburse the insurers for any medical bills. But the HMOs argued that Pennsylvania’s HMO Act makes them exempt from MVFRL’s anti-subrogation provision. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with the HMOs, holding that MVFRL’s anti-subrogation provision does not apply to them because the HMO Act exempts them from any insurance law that does not specifically state that it covers HMOs.

75 Pa. C.S. § 1720 states that in an action arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, there shall be no right of subrogation or reimbursement from a claimant’s tort recovery with respect to workers’ compensation benefits, benefits available under Section 1711 (relating to required benefits), 1712 (relating to availability of benefits) or 1715 (relating to availability of adequate limits) or benefits paid or payable by a program, group contract or other arrangement whether primary or excess under Section 1719 (relating to coordination of benefits. However, this section was repealed in 1993 insofar as it relates to workers’ compensation payments or other benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers’ compensation carrier may now seek subrogation or reimbursement out of a tort recovery received by an injured claimant.

Oliver v. City of Pittsburgh, 11 A.3d 960 (Pa. 2011) held that restoration of employer subrogation rights arising from payment of workers’ compensation benefits does not afford public employers a right of subrogation for benefits paid under the Heart and Lung Act. Section 25(b) of Act 44 reinstated an employer’s right of subrogation with respect to workers’ compensation benefits in actions arising out of motor vehicle accidents, which had previously existed under the WCA prior to the MVFRL’s enactment. These amendments, however, made no mention of the HLA. In summary, Section 25(b) repealed Section 1720 of the MVFRL insofar as it related to workers’ compensation payments or other benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. By its plain terms, such provision does not impact any anti-subrogation mandates pertaining to HLA benefits. This decision abrogated Brown v. Rosenberger, 723 A.2d 745 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999).

A portion of Act 44, Section 23, provides that the Commonwealth together with the political subdivisions, officials and employees active within the scope of their duties shall enjoy the benefit from sovereign and official immunity from claims of subrogation and reimbursement from a claimant’s tort recovery with respect to workers’ compensation benefits. The immunity provisions of the act apply to subrogation and/or reimbursement claims sought against an employee who has entered into a third party settlement with a Commonwealth party such as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Therefore any claim made by a tort victim’s employer for recoupment of workers’ compensation benefits is barred. Lillian Frazier had fractured her ankle when a SEPTA operated bus on which she was a passenger was involved in a motor vehicle accident. At the time she was employed by Bayada Nurses, Inc., and the accident occurred in the course and scope of her employment. She was paid workers’ compensation and ultimately filed a successful tort suit against SEPTA. The release agreement with SEPTA provided SEPTA would defend, indemnify and hold claimant harmless with respect to any claim, suit, petition or other action brought against claimant for payment of workers’ compensation lien filed by Bayada Nurses. Frazier v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 52 A.3d. 241 (Pa. 2012).

Who is Covered under Automobile Insurance Policies

1. The Insured: Insured” usually means “resident relative.” The term “resident” is usually not defined in policies. Resident status is a question of physical fact and intention is not a relevant consideration. Drifter who does not stay with regularity but rather is random and did not have a key to home and did not have bedroom at house was not a resident relative for purposes of homeowner’s policy. It appears this would also apply in auto context.

2. Custodial Parent: Child who sporadically visited his non-custodial parent was not a resident of his home and therefore did not meet criteria for “insured”. Erie Ins. Exchange v. Weryha, 931 A.2d 739 (Pa. Super. 2007). Parents of accident victim filed underinsured claim with non-custodial parent’s insurance company, which denied claim because victim was not a “resident” covered under policy.

3. Resident Relative Using Insured’s Car: Insurance Company’s clear and unambiguous definition of “Insured” to include resident relative only while individual was using named insured’s car was invalid because it narrowed the language of the MVFRL which states that an “insured” includes named insureds and any resident relatives of named insured, without regards to use of insured’s car. Prudential Property and Casualty Ins. Co. v. Colbert, 813 A.2d 747 (Pa. 2002)

4. Partnership: An insurance policy which lists a partnership name as the “insured” extends coverage to the individuals comprising that partnership. Continental Cas. Co. v. Pro Machine, 916 A.2d 1111 (Pa. Super. 2007).

5. Directing a Vehicle: One who guides or directs a vehicle that is being operated by another person is not considered to be “using” the vehicle for purposes of being an “insured”. Belser v. Rockwood Cas. Ins. Co., 791 A.2d 1216 (Pa. Super. 2002).

6. Family Member Not Occupying Covered Vehicle: Family member who was not occupying the covered vehicle at time of accident was still an “insured” under the policy. Only people other than policy owner and family members had to be “occupying” the covered vehicle to have coverage.Quinney v. American Modern Home Ins. Co., 145 F. Supp 2d 603 (M.D. Pa. 2001). Insured had UIM coverage on collector cars with Insurer. Insured’s son was killed in vehicle unrelated to Insured or Insured’s policy. Insurer unsuccessfully argued it did not have to pay UIM benefits because decedent son was not occupying one of its covered vehicles at time of accident.

7. Temporary Substitute Vehicle: Insured was a “covered person” for purposes of policy when she was a passenger in a vehicle which constituted a “temporary substitute vehicle” for a covered vehicle. O’Connor-Kohler v. USAA, 883 A.2d 673 (Pa. Super. 2005)

8. Worker’s Compensation Finding: Finding by Workers’ Compensation judge that employee was not acting within the scope of employment when accident occurred, does not preclude opposite finding with respect to insurance contract. Leggett v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 844 A.2d 575 (Pa. Super. 2004) Insurance policy defined “named insureds” as employees only while acting within their duties . Decedent was off duty but looking for company owned cell phone when accident occurred.

Federal Law on Automobile Insurance Reimbursement

For ERISA-qualified plans, ERISA preempted application of the anti-subrogation provision of the MVFRL. Other state laws are also pre-empted by ERISA. The anti-subrogation provision of the MVFRL precludes governmental healthcare plans (non-ERISA qualified plans) from exercising subrogation rights against a health care recipient’s tort recovery. HMOs are exempt from the anti-subrogation provision of the MVFRL.

Health insurance plan that requires the beneficiary to reimburse the insurer for its expenses when the beneficiary recovers damages from a third party that is responsible for the injury is “equitable” and permissible under ERISA. Insureds settled lawsuit suit with 3rd party for injuries resulting from accident. Mid Atlantic filed suit under ERISA to recover money it had spent on insureds’ medical expenses. Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, 547 U.S. 356 (2006). In US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen, 663 F.3d 671 (3rd Cir. 2011 the health care plan sued to recover medical bills after settlement with the third-party. The court ruled that because the amount of the judgment obtained by the health care carrier exceeds the net amount of the automobile victim’s third-party recovery, it would leave him with less than full payment for his emergency medical bills, thus undermining the entire purpose of the Plan. At the same time, it would amount to a windfall for US Airways, which did not exercise the subrogation rights or contribute to the costs of obtaining the third-party recovery.

Where a summary plan description and a plan conflict, the summary plan will control if the employee has relied on the plan. Brush Wellman, Inc. v Montes, 295 F.Supp. 2d 785 (N.D. Ohio. 2003).

Evidence (and subsequent recovery in a personal injury action) of medical expenses arising from motor vehicle accident is admissible when injured party’s medical expenses were covered by his employer’s self-funded welfare and benefit plan. Orndoff v. Wilson, 760 A.2d 1 (Pa. Super. 2000)

Liens on medical costs are excepted from the anti-lien and anti-recovery provisions of the Social Security Act. Liens on settlements or judgments limited to medical costs are not prohibited by the Act. Pennsylvania’s 50% allocation and agency appeal provisions are consistent with the federal requirement that the State’s recovery not exceed the portion of the third-party recovery attributable to Medicaid-paid expenses. Pursuant to the current framework, beneficiaries unhappy with these results may appeal the default allocation.

ERISA liens are quickly becoming one of the biggest sources of frustration for personal injury attorneys. ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 USC 1001, et seq. which governs most employee health plans. Many ERISA plans assert that they are under no obligation to reduce their lien claims, and purport that they are entitled to their entire reimbursement claim regardless of the circumstances of the case. Needless to say, this does not bode well for clients, who may end up with very little out of their personal injury settlement, particularly if the third party has a limited policy.

Vicarious Liability in Automobile Cases

On March 1, 2006 the amendments to the Insurance Act (“IA”), the Highway Traffic Act (“HTA”) and the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (“CAIA”), which reformed the rules for vicarious liability with respect to leased and rented automobiles, came into force. Language included in these statutes annulled state “vicarious liability” laws that previously had held vehicle rental and leasing companies liable when a driver without sufficient insurance caused a serious accident. Prior to this legislation, Pennsylvania as well as 15 other states and the District of Columbia had full or limited vicarious liability statues.

On December 22, 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed the vicarious liability provisions of 75 Pa.C.S.A. §1574 in Price v. Leibfried,, 2011 Pa. Super. 274. It is generally accepted that, under the statute, an individual that knowingly allows an unlicensed driver to operate her motor vehicle is vicariously liable for the unlicensed driver’s negligent operation. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the drunk driver, Liebfried, and the Superior Court affirmed, finding that pursuant to statute, plaintiff as owner was vicariously liable for Liebfried’s negligent operation of the vehicle and therefore could not recover as the passenger.

In Pennsylvania, you may be liable for damage done to or caused by your car even thought you are not driving it. Employers may be liable, along with their employees, for accidents caused by their employees while operating company vehicles. This type of vicarious liability is generally limited to automobile accidents that occur during the course of employment, and does not apply if the employee was using the vehicle for errands outside of work.

In addition, the common law theory of “negligent entrustment” which can be applicable under Pennsylvania law can make you liable for any injuries caused by a bad driver you trusted with your car. Negligent entrustment may apply when you entrust your car to another driver when you should have reasonably know that the person you let drive your care should not be operating a motor vehicle because of their mental or physical condition.

Where a party releases broker, that does not automatically release the insurance company where there is clear language in the release which purports to keep the insurance company in the case. The decision relies upon Maloney v. Valley Medical Facilities, Inc., 603 Pa. 399, 984 A.2d 478 (2009) and distinguishes Pallante v. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 427 Pa. Super. 371, 629 A.2d 146 (1993).

If you have been injured in an automobile case, please contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis firm to determine whether you may have a claim.

Excess Umbrella Insurance Policies in Automobile Liability Cases

Personal Umbrella Policies are liability insurance policies with very high limits of protection, typically starting at $1,000,000. They are designed to add a layer of protection above other kinds of personal liability coverage such as the liability protection found in a personal auto, homeowner or boat insurance policy. These kinds of policies are meant to protect you should you be deemed legally responsible for injury to persons or property.

Umbrella or excess liability insurance will cover your business from catastrophic issues that threaten its security. An excess liability insurance policy acts as an umbrella to your basic liability insurance. This type of coverage kicks in when a claim is made against you that exceeds the amount of your existing liability coverage. Umbrella liability insurance provides a safety net when your other business coverage has been exhausted.

In Kropa v. Gateway Ford, 974 A.2d 502 (Pa. Super. 2009), Adams was driving a loaner provided to him by Gateway. Gateway provided the vehicle with state-mandated primary insurance coverage through Discover, but Gateway also maintained an excess insurance policy on the vehicle, also through Discover. The excess policy covered any “authorized driver” while operating a covered “auto” in accordance with the terms and conditions of an “auto” rental agreement. The court therefore found that the excess policy did not provide any additional coverage to a driver struck by the intoxicated user of the loaner vehicle. The court’s reasoning was that the excess policy did not provide any more than the primary policy, which was merely the limits of state mandated coverage, which is $15,000.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, or suffered another catastrophic injury, contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis firm to determine whether you may have a legal claim.

Joinder of Tort Claims with Coverage Issue

In Richner v. McCance and Erie Insurance Group, 2011 WL 32499, 2011 Pa.Super. 4, No. 2045 WDA 2009 (Pa.Super. Jan. 6, 2011), the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a decision reversing the trial court and holding that the injured party in an automobile case could not join his tort claim with a count in the Complaint for a declaratory judgment raising the coverage question surrounding the applicability of an exclusion in the Erie Insurance Company’s policy.

The Superior Court considered the issue as to whether Erie’s declaratory judgment action with respect to coverage claiming that it was not liable to Richner for UIM benefits because he regularly drove his employer’s automobile and was said to be driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, could be joined with Richner’s tort case stating that he suffered serious injuries while operating an automobile owned by his employer. The Superior Court applied Pa.R.C.P. 2229(b), pertaining to the joinder of actions, and found that the requirements of that rule were not met to allow for a joinder of a tort claim with a declaratory judgment action on a coverage question. The Superior Court ruled that the trial court erred in concluding that Richner could join in his tort claim against McCance and the Matukes, a count for declaratory judgment raising the applicability of an exclusion in the Erie policy.

Previously, the tort and UIM case were litigated in separate forums. Now, in many instances, the cases are filed together in one action in the Courts of Common Pleas. An issue exists as to whether the UIM insurer can be joined as a defendant in the tort action. If joinder is permitted, then the role of the UIM insurer at trial must be addressed.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident and believe that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis firm to determine whether you may have a claim.

Cancellation, Termination and Refusal to Write Coverage

Section 2002 of Act 68 indicates that an insurer may refuse to write a policy or cancel it within the first 60 days for any reason not specifically prohibited. Section 2003 of Act 68 lists specific reasons upon which an insurer may not base a decision to decline to issue a policy. For example, the policy may not be canceled and a carrier may not refuse to write a policy or renew a policy based upon age, residence or operation of a motor vehicle in a specific geographic area, marital status, and the other reasons listed. 40 P.S. § 991.2003(a)(1), (2) and (8).

In Robins v. Insurance Dept, 11 A.3d 1048 (Pa. Cmwlth 2010), the court held that Petitioner simply did not meet the requirements of a “membership insurer” since he did not belong to the class of people that the carrier insures.

Your rights when you are refused car insurance coverage include documentation, filing a complaint and knowing the reason you were denied.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident or were denied automobile coverage and believe you may have a claim, contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis firm to determine whether you may have a claim

The Rescue Doctrine and Superseding Causes in Automobile Liability

In tort law, the rescue doctrine holds that if a tortfeasor creates a circumstance that places the tort victim in danger, the tortfeasor is liable not only for the harm caused to the victim, but also the harm caused to any person injured in an effort to rescue that victim.

A common claim for damages in automobile liability cases may fall under the rescue doctrine, where an individual who assists a person in danger or distress sustains injuries. However, when an individual is injured in an automobile accident, and a person attempts to rescue or provide first aid, the person providing the rescue may have a claim for damages against the individual ultimately responsible for the original accident.

Whether you are providing support in an automobile accident, or you are supporting someone who have been injured at work, your claim for your own bodily injury damages can be pursued against the original negligent individual or company using the rescue doctrine as your position of claim.

However, there would not be liability under the rescue doctrine where there is a superseding cause for the injuries sustained by the person performing rescue services. For example, in Bole v. Erie Insurance Exchange, 50 A.3d 1256 (Pa. 2012), the court held that the rescue doctrine does not allow a volunteer firefighter responding to a crash in a hurricane to recover where there has been a finding that his injuries were the result of a superseding cause. In that case, on his way to the fire station, a bridge on the firefighter’s property collapsed as he drove over it, causing him serious injuries. Because the negligent driver that the firefighter was rushing to rescue was underinsured, the firefighter sued to collect underinsured motorist benefits from his insurer. The arbitration panel found that the bridge collapse was not reasonably foreseeable and it was a superseding cause. This finding of fact must be respected and hence the rescue doctrine which ordinarily would make the person in trouble liable for the rescuer’s injuries does not apply.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident and think you may have a claim, contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis Law Firm.

Sudden Emergency / Unexpected Medical Emergency Doctrines in Automobile Cases

The courts are urged not to confuse sudden emergency with unforeseen medical emergency. Shiner v. Ralston, 64 A.3d 1 (Pa. Super. 2013) resulted in the reversal of summary judgment for a defendant. The court granted summary judgment based upon the fact that defendant died at the wheel. The court said that the medical records were not so clear that summary judgment should have been granted. In Shiner, the court held that it was possible that defendant was aware of his medical condition and therefore should not have been driving or was negligent to drive.

The unforeseen medical emergency doctrine appears to have been tightened in Pennsylvania by this decision. The assumption is that when a person is unconscious and unable to act, he is incapable of negligence. Unforeseeable loss of consciousness, if proven, is a complete defense to negligence and the defendant bears the burden of establishing the defense. The defense must be pled in new matter.

By contrast, the sudden emergency doctrine in Pennsylvania is not an affirmative defense. It is a legal principle that provides that an individual will not be held to the usual degree of care or be required to exercise his or her best judgment when confronted with a sudden and unexpected position of parallel created in whole or in part by someone other than the person claiming protection under the doctrine.

Pennsylvania courts have acknowledged the “sudden emergency doctrine” as a relevant defense in determining whether a driver was negligent in an automobile accident. Lockhart v. List, 665 A.2d 1176 (Pa. 1995). The “sudden emergency doctrine” recognizes that a driver, who, although driving in a prudent manner, is confronted with a sudden or unexpected event which little or no time to comprehend a situation and act accordingly should not be subject to liability simply because another perhaps more prudent course was available. Under Pennsylvania law, an unexpected event can be some object that suddenly moves into the driver’s path where there is nothing that the driver can do to avoid a collision.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident and think you may have a claim, contact Cliff Rieders, Esq. of the Rieders Travis Law Firm.

Statute of Limitations for Motor Vehicle Accidents

Parties injured in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania must file a summons for personal injury within the two year statute of limitations..

In Lange v. Burd, 800 2.d 336 (Pa. Super. 2002), parties injured in a motor vehicle accident filed a lawsuit against decedent, unaware that he had died approximately 18 months earlier. Insurance company letters which refer to deceased insured as its “insured”, but did not mention he had died, did not constitute the type of concealment that would toll two-year statute of limitations. However, the carrier was not under a duty to inform motorist that decedent had died.  Decedent’s insurance company sent letters to the injured parties regarding their “insured” but did not mention his death. Parties subsequently filed suit against the estate of decedent and appealed summary judgment, which was granted because the new suit was filed beyond the two-year statute of limitations.

In another case, Sardo v. Smith, 851 A.2d 168 (Pa. Super. 2004), injured motorists had failed to serve other driver with summons for personal injury accident within two-year statute of limitations. Injured motorists are entitled to evidentiary hearing to determine whether they had made a “good faith effort” to serve the driver of other vehicle involved in an accident. Injured motorists maintained they acted in good faith but could not find other driver within two-year period. Whether the statute of limitations has tolled depends on a finding that the plaintiffs made a “good faith effort to serve defendants.

In automobile accidents, the statute of limitations is, generally, two years from the date of the accident, although that time limit may be extended in certain situations. The two year time limit can be delayed from running under certain special circumstances — including if the accident victim younger that eighteen (18) when injured. The statute of limitations for a minor injured in an automobile accident does not begin to run until the minor reaches 18 years of age.

Financial Responsibility – First Party Benefits

Under the present law, there is mandatory insurance requiring all motor vehicles to provide first-party benefit coverage of $10,000.00 in medical expenses, $5,000.00 in income loss, and $1,500.00 in funeral benefits.

First-party benefits are the “no-fault” concept, meaning that without regard to the question of fault, the injured party, at a minimum, has the first $10,000.00 in medical expenses covered, the first $5,000.00 in income loss covered, and the first $1,500.00 in funeral expenses covered under the applicable insurance policy covering the accident in question.

If the minimum policy is in force, and any of these economic losses are exceeded, the plaintiff retains the right to sue for the economic losses in excess of those minimum limits.

Effective July 1, 1990, required insurance coverage is limited to $5,000.00 in medical benefits. There no longer is any requirement for income loss or funeral benefits. Income loss and funeral benefit expense. Lack of coverage for income loss benefits under an insured’s policy does not entitle insured to those benefits from a car policy in which he is not a named insured, but was the driver. Wheeler v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 905 A.2d 504 (Pa. Super. 2006).

Injured employee who had opted not to purchase no-fault income loss coverage with her automobile insurance company was not “eligible” to receive income loss benefits under Section1712(2) merely because she could have chosen to purchase them. A person is “eligible” under MVFRL, Section 1722 to receive income loss benefits when he has actually purchased such benefits. Carroll v. Kephart, 717 A.2d 554 (Pa. Super. 1998.)

Income loss benefit cannot be considered payable when coverage is denied; therefore, Section 1722 does not preclude a claim for the same.Eberhart v. Zemko, No. 03-01733, CCP Lycoming, Kieser, J., Opinion and Order 10/27/04.

Chiropractors may delegate certain non-specialized aspects of performing adjunctive procedures to unlicensed support personnel. The question is whether those procedures require specialized, chiropractic education or training. Where delegation is permitted, reimbursement will be provided under the medical payments portion of the coverage. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Cavoto, 34 A.3d 123 (Pa. Super. 2011).

Assuming that there is a liability situation so that ultimately these economic losses could be recovered from the responsible party, it usually takes at least a year to file, process, and bring to conclusion a liability lawsuit, and during that interim period, incurred medical expenses in excess of $5,000.00 would have to be paid out of the client’s pocket, and there would be no reimbursement for income loss if higher first-party benefit limits are not elected.

Chiropractors have a private cause of action for interest as a result of late payments, even though law does not specifically create a private remedy.Schappell v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Company, 934 A.2d 1144 (Pa. 2007).

Section 1797 of the MVFRL authorizes insurance companies to pay less than medical providers’ customary charges if those charges exceed statutorily defined thresholds. Pittsburgh Neurosurgery Assoc. v. Danner, 733 A.2d 1279 (Pa. Super.1999).

Statute of Limitations for Uninsured Motorists

Pennsylvania has a four year statute of limitations on uninsured motorist claims , which begins to run in federal court when the insured settles his claim with or obtains an award from the underinsured driver. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Rosenthal, 484 F.3d 251 (3rd Cir. 2007)

The situation differs in Pennsylvania state court. In fact, there is no precedent under Pennsylvania law establishing when the statute of limitations for an underinsured motorist claim begins to run.

The court in Hopkins v. Erie Insurance Co., 65 A.3d 452 (Pa. Super. 2013) held that the 4-year statute of limitations on underinsured motorist claims begins to run when the insured settles with or secures a judgment against the underinsured owner or operator. Therefore, in this case, the underinsurance motorist claim was barred by the statute of limitations. Settlement with the tortfeasor occurred on or about December 4, 2004, in order to settle, discontinue and end being filed January 6, 2005. The insured, therefore, had until December 4, 2008, to file their petition to appoint arbitrators and to compel arbitration. The insured was 2 years late.

Hopkins attempted to rely on equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The court found no justification for declining equitably to toll the statute of limitations. Hopkins raised bad faith on the part of Erie, and hence an estoppel argument. The record is devoid of any action by Erie precluding appellants from petitioning for the appointment of arbitrators prior to December 2010. The fact that appellants had contact with Erie prior to the running of the statute of limitations does not place any onus on the part of Erie to assure that the insured files in a timely fashion.

Bad Faith and Automobile Insurance Coverage

The Pennsylvania Superior Court held that insurer Nationwide acted in bad faith in connection with participation of insured in a direct repair program. The program does not constitute a waiver of the insured’s right to assert a claim under the policy, nor did it eliminate Nationwide’s statutory and contractual obligations to act in good faith throughout the claim process. The program is not part of the insurance policy per se.Nevertheless, Nationwide, in processing the claim through its repair facility or through a third party repair facility or through a direct repair program must at all times act in good faith. Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., 44 A.3d 1164 (Pa. Super. 2012).

The portion of an automobile insurance policy which deals with direct payment to the person covered by the insurance can support a bad faith claim. A few states have extended their bad faith or insurance company malpractice statute to third parties. Pennsylvania is not one of them.

The general concept behind bad faith or insurance company malpractice is that the insurance carrier has an obligation to be fair and honest with its insured. This duty creates a conflict of interest for the adjuster, who is always trying to settle the case for the least amount of money.

Another area where a bad faith or insurance company malpractice can arise in an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim is on the liability aspects of the claim. A bad faith claim can also arise when an insurance company makes a determination that there is no coverage for a particular loss. If the coverage decision is both wrong and/or not investigated fully, it can amount to a bad faith.

In one Pennsylvania case, a trial court denied motion of insurance company to sever and stay a statutory bad faith claim from a breach of contract claim arising out of UIM coverage. The appellate court found that such an appeal was not warranted. Gunn v. Auto Insurance Company of Hartford Connecticut, 971 A.2d 505 (Pa. Super. 2009).

In Johnson vs. Progressive Insurance Company, 987 A.2d 781 (Pa. Super. 2009), the Superior Court found no bad faith in processing of claim where the insurance company performed a good faith investigation into the facts by timely seeking medical records, wage statements, taking the insured’s statement under oath, and obtaining an “Independent Medical Examination.” The offer made was slightly less than 50% of the eventual award. There was never a denial of benefits; rather the dispute centered upon the measure of damages.

3 injured after car accident in Pennsylvania

A four-car crash near the Pennsylvania turnpike resulted in several injuries, according to first responders. Information about the car accident is limited at this time as Pennsylvania police continue to investigate the cause of the crash. It has been confirmed that two of the three injured parties were school children.

Reports on the accident are still being fleshed out as of this writing. Police believe that unsafe speed and following distance may have contributed to the accident, though it is unclear which driver may have been responsible for setting off the chain reaction. Two truck drivers involved in the crash were apparently uninjured.

The crash also involved at least one passenger car and a school van carrying children to classes. The two unidentified children were taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries following the accident. The driver of the passenger car, also unidentified by police at this time, was taken to the same hospital. All injuries are described as non life-threatening, but no further information is available. Police have not filed charges related to this accident at this time.

It will take some time for police to piece together exactly what happened on the morning of Nov. 26 on the Pennsylvania turnpike. If their investigation points to a particular driver as being responsible for the car accident, that driver may face criminal charges related to the crash. Separate from those charges, injured parties or their representatives will be entitled to file personal injury suits against that driver in a civil court setting. To prevail, they will need to prove that the driver deemed responsible was negligent in a manner that caused the accident and injuries which resulted.

Source: philly.com, Adult, two schoolchildren hurt in Pa. Turnpike crash, No author, Nov. 27, 2013

Two Drivers Killed Near Lycoming Mall

Head-on crash Friday afternoon turned deadly in Fairfield Township when one driver died at the scene, and the other driver later died at Williamsport Regional Medical Center, according to state police at Montoursville and the Lycoming County Coroner’s office.

Bethany G. Hughes, 23, and Paul L. Kremser, 90, both of Montoursville, died as a result of the accident.

Kremser was driving a 2013 grey Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck west on Lycoming Mall Drive around 2:20 p.m., when he allegedly drifted across the double-yellow lines into the other lane near Tules Run development, police said.

He struck head-on the eastbound silver 2013 Jeep Patriot Hughes was driving, a witness told police.

Hughes was unresponsive, and died at the scene, according to Trooper Douglass Hoffman.

Kremser initially was unconscious, but became alert as he was transported to Williamsport Regional Hospital, Hoffman said. Geisinger’s Life Flight could not come due to the weather, Hoffman said.

Kremser died after 7 p.m. at the hospital, Kiessling said.

Both drivers had to be removed from the vehicles, Hoffman said.

While it is yet unclear why Kremser allegedly crossed the center line, alcohol and drugs were not a factor, Hoffman said.

The road was closed for more than two hours, but re-opened around 5 p.m.

Crash on Route 220 Kills City Teenager

Inexperience and excessive speed likely contributed to a deadly one-car crash early Saturday morning on Route 220 near Linden that killed a city teenager driving the car. Three passengers injured, one critically.

The 18 year old driver had his license less than a week and was killed when the northbound 2000 Ford Crown Victoria he was driving went out of control and struck two utility poles in front of the former Woodward Township Elementary School about 1:20 a.m.

State Police say that they driver was traveling at “an apparent high rate of speed” when the car went into the east berm. The driver attempted to regain control by steering left, which caused the car to roll onto the passenger side roof striking two utilities pole, Pena added.

State Police also mention that the car spun clockwise, landing upright and facing south.

When volunteer firefighters from Woodward Township arrived on the scene, the driver and two passengers in the car, one 21 year old from Linden and one 21 year old from Milton, were pinned in the wreckage.

In order to free the occupants, firefighters removed the car’s roof. Emergency responders from Jersey Shore and the Susquehanna Health System along with volunteer firefighters from Old Lycoming Township also responded to the crash.
The Lycoming County Coroner said the driver who, lived with his mother, on 810 Poplar St., was killed instantly and was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt.

The car was owned by the driver’s grandmother, said the coroner.
Two medical helicopters landed behind the school and flew two passengers Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. A third passenger in the car, 18, of Bloomsburg, was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries.

The northbound lanes of Route 220 remained closed until police completed their on-scene investigation.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Car accident in Pennsylvania results in tragedy

Car accidents are the most deadly as well as the most common type of personal injury accident. When a Pennsylvania car accident result in fatality, mourning families and friends are left behind to pick up the pieces. The circumstances are intensified if the loss of a loved one may have been avoided, and when the tragic details are unknown, leaving several questions unanswered.

Tragedy struck in a recent auto accident involving four local high school football players. Three people died and several were injured when two vehicles collided head-on. The accident happened after 10 p.m. on a local freeway in Sharon.

Purportedly the four football players were driving in a car that crossed over the center median into oncoming traffic. He collided with a truck occupied by a female driver and her two children. Both drivers and another passenger in the car were pronounced dead shortly after the accident. The other passengers are being treated for injuries.

News of the car crash has been devastating for those that knew both of the drivers and all passengers, with so many questions at the forefront. Although speed is being considered as a factor, it has not been determined that it was the cause of the car accident. The head-on collision in Pennsylvania is currently under investigation in an effort to piece together the answers to this fatal car accident. If driving recklessly or other factors had anything to do with the tragic loss of life, the families of the victim will have the right to take action and receive compensation for the resulting damages and loss.

Source: TheBlaze.com, Tragedy: On Eve of State Playoff Game, 2 High School Football Players Killed in Car Crash, Dave Urbanski, Nov. 9, 2013

One Vehicle Crash

Two men that suffered injuries went to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center after their car crashed in the westbound lanes of Interstate 180 at the Lycoming Mall Road interchange in Muncy Township about 11 p.m. Thursday.

The driver lost control of the car and went off the road and hit the concrete structural support pillar to the road overpass.  His passenger was trapped in the wreckage for about 20 minutes. Both men, whom state police had not yet identified as of Friday night, were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights.  Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Woman arrested following Pennsylvania car crash

Police have confirmed the arrest of a Pennsylvania driver accused of hit-and-run. The car accidentresulted in the injuries of multiple victims. The driver turned herself into authorities shortly after the Oct. 20 car crash.

Multiple witnesses made reports to police of someone driving recklessly on the Turnpike. The vehicle was headed at speeds of over 90 miles per hour when it struck the rear of an SUV. The SUV was then pushed over the guard rail and rolled down an embankment. The other vehicle involved fled the scene at high speeds as witnesses and Pennsylvania authorities were unable to track it down.

The driver accused of the hit-and-run was a Flourville resident, said to be 27 years old. The SUV she struck from behind was carrying a family of four. A seven-year-old and her mother were left in critical condition as a result of the accident. She turned herself into authorities the next day and now faces multiple felony charges and at least three months in jail for her involvement in the accident.

In Pennsylvania, victims of a car accident have the right to file personal injury lawsuits against any other party that is deemed to have negligently caused or contributed to the collision. If the driver in this particular incident is found liable for the crash, she could held financially accountable for the injuries of both the mother and the child involved in the accident. Compensation may be awarded to the victims for any financial hardships experienced as a result of the car crash. All monetary claims in a personal injury lawsuit are typically decided in civil court.

Source: CBS Philly, Police Make Arrest In Pa. Turnpike Crash, Diana Rocco, October 22, 2013

Alcohol ruled factor in Pennsylvania car accident

New developments have come to light regarding a collision that left a man critically injured. The Pennsylvania accident took place on July 1 and involved two vehicles. Authorities have come forward with evidence that suggests alcohol may have been a contributing factor to the car accident.

The accident occurred when a sedan, headed northbound, crossed over into a southbound lane, striking a pickup truck in the process. The truck ran off the road as a result of the accident. The driver of the sedan was suspected to be under the influence of some substance after police initially observed slurred speech. He then failed field sobriety tests and was taken to a nearby hospital to undergo blood tests. It was later confirmed by authorities that he had a blood alcohol content of .17 percent, with the legal limit in the state of Pennsylvania being .08 percent.

The driver of the pickup truck was also hospitalized after suffering a shattered leg during the accident. He has since been forced to endure a series of comprehensive medical operations as a result of his injuries. He is also undergoing physical therapy.

The driver of the sedan was also said to have been under the influence of drugs that induce a sedative effect. Based on all of these developments, he is likely to be considered liable for the crash, should the victim decide to file a personal injury claim. If the sedan driver is considered negligent by the civil court, the victim could be awarded monetary damages for any financial hardships faced as a result of the car accident.

Source: phillyburbs.com, Bensalem man charged in DUI accident that injured man, Jo Ciavaglia, Oct. 15, 2013

Friday Crash Sends Local Motorcyclist To Hospital

A local motorcyclist remains in hospital care recovering from injuries he suffered on Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash that took place on East Third Street at its intersection with Tinsman Avenue in Loyalsock Township.

According to police, the crash took place as a driver from Muncy, PA was traveling west on East Third Street in a Plymouth Breeze. Meanwhile, the other driver from Trout Run, was heading east on East Third Street on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The driver of the Plymouth Breeze attempted to make a left turn into the parking lot of the KFC restaurant. According to police, she failed to notice the motorcycle driver in the right lane. The car’s front end hit the left side of the Harley-Davidson. The impact caused the bike to travel about 6 feet before coming to a rest, according to reports.

The driver of the Plymouth Breeze, who was not injured, brought her vehicle to a stop in the KFC parking lot.

Calvin Phillips was taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville by ambulance with severe injuries. As of Sunday night, he was listed in critical condition, according to hospital officials.

Damage to both vehicles was minor, according to police.

One Hurt in Crash

Woodward Township Fire Chief, along with an unidentified emergency responder from DuBoistown, both perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on an unresponsive motorcyclist who crashed where Route 15 South and Interstate 180 East merge in the city of Williamsport. The two came upon the crash minutes after it happened. Emergency workers prepared to move the cyclist, of Lewisburg, to a stretcher minutes after he was revived. He was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center by ambulance. City police did not know what caused him to drive off the highway and into the grass. Concerning another one car crash on Wednesday night on Interstate 180 near the Fairfield Road interchange, state police say a Williamsport man escaped injury although his 19 year old passenger, also of Williamsport, remained in critical condition, at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Pennsylvania man injured in car crash

A two-vehicle crash occurred in Greene County recently. The Pennsylvania accident took place during the evening hours of Sunday, Oct. 15. Two victims were injured as a result of the car crash, with one reporting major injuries.

The incident took place shortly before 7:30 p.m on a local roadway in Franklin Township. A 26-year-old Gettysburg man was operating an SUV when he apparently ran a stop sign, causing a collision with a southbound car. Following the initial collision, both cars struck the same embankment on the side of the road before stopping.

The driver of the car was a 73-year-old Gettysburg man is said to have suffered severe injuries and was transported for medical care. His wife, said to be 72 years old, was the only passenger in that vehicle and suffered injuries initially characterized as moderate. The SUV driver was cited by police for running the stop sign and was taken to Gettysburg Hospital to submit to a blood alcohol test. Charges were not filed initially, though that could change as the official investigation continues.

A car crash, regardless of its severity, can be a trying time for any victims and their families. When an accident is attributable to the negligence of another party, the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications can be dire. In Pennsylvania, seriously injured victims have the right to file personal injury claims seeking reimbursement for financial damages resulting from a collision. If a conviction is secured against the man for failing to stop at the stop sign, proof of it may be offered as evidence in a related civil lawsuit to establish liability for the financial consequences of the tragedy.

Source: The Evening Sun, Franklin Township crash leaves Gettysburg man seriously injured, No author, Oct. 15, 2013

Pennsylvania Greyhound bus involved in car crash

A string of bus accidents have occurred across the United States– this time in Pennsylvania. A long-time driver of Greyhound has been involved in a fatal bus accident. This car crash between a Greyhound bus and a tractor-trailer has left 44 people injured and one person dead.

Authorities indicate that the wreck occurred in around midnight. During the long commute, the bus driver crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer for an unknown reason. Medical personnel arrived at the scene and transported the victims to different hospitals for treatment. Out of the 50 people who were on the bus, 44 suffered injuries. While a number of victims were treated and released, several have been hospitalized in critical condition.

One of the victims of the crash has died. Authorities have not yet determined what caused the bus driver to crash into the tractor-trailer. No citations have been reported in this incident.

A fatal car crash is undoubtedly traumatizing for surviving family members. The Pennsylvania Greyhound bus driver may have to answer to civil lawsuits, along with the employer. The family members of the deceased woman retain the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against any party whose negligence is deemed to have caused or contributed to the fatal accident. The family may be reimbursed for financial damages sustained if evidence indicates that the bus driver is indeed responsible for the unfortunate events which resulted in the woman’s death. Additionally, those injured in the tragedy have similar rights to file personal injury claims as well.

Source: nbcnews.com, 1 dead in Pennsylvania bus crash, 44 sent to area hospitals, Matthew Deluca, Oct. 9, 2013

Deadly Bus Crash on I-80 in Union County

One person dead and 40 injured after a Greyhound bus rear-ended a tractor trailer on I-80 West past the Williamsport exit early this morning.

Traffic is backed up and I-80 West is closed.

I-80 West Reopened After Deadly Bus Crash

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Charges filed after tragic Pennsylvania auto accident

Operation of heavy machinery, including dump trucks and other construction vehicles, can require patience and careful maneuvering by their drivers. When possible negligence is introduced into the operation of a large and dangerous vehicle, there may be serious and sometimes fatal disasters. The loss of two lives in connection with an out-of-control dump truck is currently being reviewed. Recent charges made in a tragic Pennsylvania auto accident may bring closure to the family who lost their loved ones and anxiety to the man who faces trial.

Officials have released that the Pennsylvania man who was driving the truck has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and homicide by a motor vehicle for his involvement in the auto accident that killed two others. Purportedly, the man lost control of his truck as he drove through a bend in the road. His vehicle went sailing through the air, landing on top of the other car in the accident. It has not been detailed as to what may have caused his truck to launch off of the road, or at the speed he may have been travelling.

The brother and sister in the car crash were fatally crushed when the dump truck operated by the Pennsylvania man landed on top of their car. Officials have accused the man of having been intoxicated with an imitation form of marijuana at the time of the accident, though its potential ability to cause distracted driving has not been outlined. Intoxication charges have not been released as a probable element in this situation.

The Pennsylvania man was arrested recently for failure to appear in court regarding a hearing that is not connected to the tragic auto accident, and he was being held without bail. The surviving family members of the deceased victims have made the decision to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused man. If a criminal conviction is ultimately secured against him, proof of it may be offered as evidence of liability in a related civil proceeding.

Source: rochester.ynn.com, Pa. Man Charged in Crash That Killed Twins From Rochester, No author, Sept. 21, 2013

Driver taken into custody after Pennsylvania auto accident

Distracted driving is dangerous, irresponsible and can sometimes cause devastating results. Some vehicle drivers can be presented with a multitude of possible distractions such as texting and talking on cell phones. A recent auto accident in Pennsylvania may have resulted due to the actions of a distracted driver, considering that the crash involved the alleged failure to observe a stop sign.

The incident occurred when a van with seven passengers collided with another vehicle at an intersection. The crash appeared to have been caused by the running of a stop sign by one of the parties involved. One of the van’s passengers was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment. The severity of his or her injuries is currently unknown.

The motorist that crashed into the van was taken into custody after completing a sobriety test. If the evidence ends up showing this driver was under the influence of alcohol, then he or she could face serious consequences. Due to the wreck taking place so close to the state’s border, both Pennsylvania and Ohio authorities are involved in the ongoing investigation.

It’s a blessing that the other six passengers in the van were unharmed; however, the injured victim may be coping with the pain and suffering caused by this auto accident for an extended period of time. A personal injury claim can be filed in a Pennsylvania civil court when there is evidence suggesting that a victim’s injuries have come as a result of a negligent, distracted or drunk driver. Monetary damages from a successful claim can help to cover all medical costs, lost wages and any necessary rehabilitation.

Source: pittsburgh.cbslocal.com, At Least 1 Hospitalized In Bessemer Crash, No author, Sept. 10, 2013

Car accident in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of 6 people

When motorists are traveling past each other at high speeds and in opposite directions, a simple slip or averted gaze toward a distraction can have extreme consequences. A recent car accident in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of six people, as two vehicles collided on a local highway. The emotional pain and suffering that their loved ones are feeling can be deep and raw, leaving them with questions and a desire for justice.

In early September, the SUV involved apparently moved into oncoming traffic, crashing head-on into the other car. All four adults in the car and two children in the SUV passed away immediately from trauma, leaving the driver of the SUV and her young son as the only survivors of this tragic car accident. Both the Pennsylvania woman and her son were taken to hospitals, though she remained in serious condition.

Reports do not state if driving recklessly, texting or perhaps distracted driving could be involved in this tragic car accident. Police have indicated that they have suspicions regarding who they believe may be responsible for the car accident, but authorities did not make any formal charges in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. They did, however, explain that evidence has led them to believe that at least three of the victims did have seat belts on at the time of the car crash.

As the investigation continues, liability will likely be assessed by the parties involved in this Pennsylvania car accident. Grief can ignite a range of reactions in people, conceivably fueling a person to pursue financial restitution for the loss of a loved one. To prevail, it will be necessary to prove to the satisfaction of a civil court that the serious injuries sustained were caused by the negligence of another party.

Source: New York Daily News, Head-on crash in Pa. kills 6, including 2 children: police, No author, Sept. 1, 2013

Crash On Pa. Highway Kills 6, Including 2 Kids

KANE, Pennsylvania an SUV crossed into oncoming traffic on a rural northwestern Pennsylvania highway and smashed head-on into another vehicle, killing six people, including two children, authorities said Sunday.

A Jeep Liberty driven by 36-year-old woman, of Kane in McKean County, crossed the center line at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and hit an approaching Pontiac Bonneville in the Allegheny National Forest, killing her daughter and nephew as well as four people in the sedan, state police said.

The four occupants of the car, all residents of nearby St. Marys, died in the crash.

The female driver and her 10-year-old son were seriously injured, her 6-year-old nephew, and 12-year-old daughter, were killed. The names of the two deceased children were released by a local funeral home in Kane, which is handling arrangements.

The 6 year old nephew was a student at Kane Area Elementary School. The funerals might be held together, a spokesman from the funeral home said.

The injured boy was flown to a children’s hospital in Pittsburgh.

The investigating officer, said he believes the driver was at fault and will face some sort of charges.

Police said that both drivers were wearing seat belts, but at least three of the deceased were not.

The McKean County Coroner said all six were declared dead at the scene of the wreck, and all died from blunt force trauma injuries. No autopsies were planned, and the remains were released to funeral homes Sunday.

Police said both vehicles were severely damaged, and U.S. Route 219 was closed in both directions for more than six hours.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

North Central Pennsylvania Crash Sends 2 To Hospital

A 39-year-old woman from Unityville, Pennsylvania was critically injured when her stopped SUV was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer at a road construction zone on Route 118 in Jordan Township.

The impact pushed the woman’s 2001 Kia Sorento into the back of a stopped 2003 Subaru Forester. The crash shut down the two-lane state road for several hours.

The operator of the rig, from St. Louis, Mo., was westbound when he slammed into the Sorento, police said. Upon hitting the 2003 Subaru Forester the vehicle rotated clockwise and went off the north side of the road The 2001 Sorento also rotated clockwise, but the driver’ door then struck a utility pole, police said.

Both the unidentified injured woman and her passenger were admitted to a Regional Medical Center in Danville, police said. The minor child suffered moderate injuries.

The Subaru Forester driver was taken by ambulance to a North Central Pennsylvania Hospital while the Kia Sorento driver escaped injury.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Mansfield Woman, 27, Dies in Sunday Crash

In Mansfield, Pennsylvania a woman was killed late Sunday night in a one-car crash.

In Tioga County’s Richmond Township, the 27 year old woman, of Mansfield, was pronounced dead at the scene after her 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser struck an embankment and overturned, police said. She was ejected from the car as it overturned.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Florida Man killed in Central Pennsylvania

In Clinton County, Pennsylvania a 55 year old Ocala, Florida man was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle about 11 a.m. Saturday morning. He was thrown when the cycle rolled and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Jersey Shore Man Injured After His Car Hits Two Embankments

In another crash, a 27 year old man from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania was admitted to the Medical Center in Danville with injuries he suffered when his car struck two embankments on in Limestone Township about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, state police said.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711 or 800-326-9259.

Girl Struck By Car, Hurt

A young girl, believed to be about 8, was seriously injured late Friday night when she was struck by a car in central Pennsylvania, local police confirmed.

The girl was struck and it is believed that she was flown by Life Flight to a central Pennsylvania Medical Center.

The accident remains under investigation. No information was available about her medical condition.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711

Tioga County PA Crash Claims Life of 22 Year Old

A central Pennsylvania man was killed in a one-vehicle crash that occurred on Saturday, state police said.

The driver lost control of his 1995 Honda Passport as he was traveling south. He drifted into the opposite lane, for an unknown reason, and was ejected from the SUV as it began to overturn several times after he over corrected himself.

Tioga County, Pennsylvania coroner pronounced the driver dead at the scene.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711

Excessive Speed Causes Accident

Central Pennsylvania City Police release information concerning a two-vehicle crash.

City Police say that the driver was traveling at an excessive speed when his Pontiac Firebird struck a utility pole and slammed into a stopped SUV.

Both drivers were taken to a Regional Hospital in Pennsylvania, as was a passenger in the car.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711

Elderly Passenger Listed As Critical After Crash

An elderly woman was critically injured when the car in which she was riding crashed into a utility pole near Jordan Township, Pennsylvania.

The injured passenger was reported in critical condition in a Danville, PA hospital.

Her husband was the driver and he was treated and later discharged.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody

Drunk Driver Hits Volunteer Firefighter Near Towanda, PA

A crash, near Towanda Pennsylvania, involved a volunteer firefighter struck allegedly by a drunk driver while directing traffic about 12:20 a.m. on Aug. 10. His condition is improving.

The volunteer firefighter’s condition has been upgraded from stable to fair, according to a nursing supervisor at a Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania.

Police said the firefighter was struck by a vehicle driven by 19-year-old central Pennsylvania man, who was jailed on a charge of aggravated assault by motor vehicle while driving under the influence of intoxicants.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711

Police Provide More Details About Crash

33 year old driver injured in a morning one-vehicle crash near the city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The driver’s pickup truck slammed into a light standard about 8 a.m., and he was trapped in the vehicle for about 20 minutes.

He was admitted to a central Pennsylvania Regional Medical Center.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation at 570-323-8711

Pennsylvania red light car crash

A 42-year-old man is said to be the blame in a recent car accident that took place. The Pennsylvania man crashed into another vehicle after he ran a red light. The man has been charged with running a red light in relation to this car crash.

According to authorities, the accident occurred at an intersection shortly after 11:00 at night. When the traffic signal changed, the man driving a Honda reportedly ran a red light, smashing into a Pontiac operated by a 33-year-old male driver. The impact sent the vehicle spinning into a pole. The car came to a stop temporarily until the pole repositioned and spun the car in a complete circle, leaving the car facing east on the road.

The driver of the Pontiac sustained injuries and was taken to a hospital for medical treatment. The exact details of his condition have not been reported. Police charged the driver of the Honda with running a red light.

A car crash usually leaves victims suffering from injuries. The driver of the Pontiac may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the Honda to recover damages as a result of the accident. The victim may experience financial loss due to medical expenses, missed time from work and other financial obligations. He may also have to endure pain and suffering in relation to his injuries. The victim may be awarded monetary damages if the civil court system in Pennsylvania deems the other driver responsible for the injuries sustained.

Source: Montgomeryville-Lansdale, PA Patch, “Lansdale Man Injured in 2-Car Accident in Worcester,” Tony Di Domizio, Aug. 12, 2013

Pennsylvania Man Killed In Crash

In Mansfield, Pennsylvania a man was killed in a one vehicle crash after losing control of his SUV.  His SUV drifted into the opposite lane for an unknown reason and he was ejected from the vehicle as it began to overturn several times after he over corrected himself.

If you or a loved suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent make sure you know your rights.  Call us for a free consultation @ 570-323-8711.

ATV & Golf Cart crashes claims one life and injuries two others

A recent high school graduate was killed and two others were injured in separate weekend crashes in central Pennsylvania – two involving ATV vehicles and the other a golf cart.

It was reported that the female teenager operating the ATV in Central Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at about 1 p.m. upset the vehicle resulting in extensive internal injuries.

Another female teenager was injured when she crashed her ATV into a tree after losing control of the vehicle.

The golf cart accident was blamed on a small animal running out in front of two other teenage girls. The girl driving tried to swerve, but the sharpness of the swerve threw her female passenger out of the golf cart. It was reported that the thrown passenger struck her head on the macadam pavement.

It was estimated that the girls were only traveling about 10 to 15 miles per hour when they swerved to miss the small animal. Even though the girl driving had driven the golf cart multiple times, it was considered a freak accident.

All three girls were transported by Life Flight helicopter to a Pennsylvania medical facility with serious injuries. The three girls would have walked away from the accidents, had it not been for the lack of headgear. None of them were wearing helmets.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury that could have been avoided or that was caused because somebody was careless or negligent, make sure you know your rights. Call us for a free consultation @ 570-323-8711.

Car accident involving a buggy injures Pennsylvania children

In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a car accident injured four children when it collided with an SUV. The buggy was leaving a driveway when it was struck and the collision caused all of the occupants to be ejected from the car. The buggy was completely destroyed in the impact from the car accident.

The occupants of the car included the driver, one infant and three other children. All of the occupants of the buggy were taken to a local Pennsylvania hospital for medical treatment. While none of the injuries were life-threatening, the three year old child and the infant suffered moderate injuries. Apparently, the driver and the other two children only suffered from minor injuries. No one in the sports utility vehicle was injured in the crash.

It is not uncommon to see a buggy on the roadways in the state. As long as the driver is exercising caution, he or she should be allowed the same rights to the roads as other drivers. Additionally, drivers of motor vehicles should practice extreme caution when driving near or passing a buggy on the road.

The police have not named which driver was at fault in this accident. However, it may be proven that the driver of the SUV was at fault upon further investigation. If this is the case, the driver could be held liable for the injuries that were inflicted in the car accident. Any person injured because of another driver’s negligence has the legal right to purse financial compensation from the offending party.

Source: wfmj.com, “Police: 4 young children hurt in Pa. buggy crash,” July 1, 2013

Pennsylvania teen charged with DUI for car accident

A young man from Pennsylvania is facing serious legal consequences after a car accident that injured six others. The 18-year-old man was driving westbound near the Rehoboth Fire Station when he drifted into the eastbound lane, causing a car accident. His vehicle collided with another that was carrying three teenage passengers besides the driver.

After the initial impact, a third car collided with the cars, compounding the serious nature of the collision. The third car was carrying one young passenger along with the driver. All seven people involved in the incident were wearing seat belts and none of the injuries sustained were life threatening.

Every driver and passenger was taken for medical treatment, but specific injuries were not listed. Updates on their conditions were not available. The driver has been charged with second degree vehicular assault and DUI, along with one traffic violation.

Based on what is known regarding this incident, the Pennsylvania driver is solely responsible for this accident. His decision to get behind the wheel while drunk contributed to the injury of six other people beside himself. Those innocently involved in negligent and drunk driving accidents could be eligible for financial compensation.

The six victims of this accident may wish to consider legal action against the driver. They could be compensated for their pain and suffering caused by the young man, based upon proof of negligence. The first step in any type of personal injury litigation is a close and careful examination of all evidence and medical records that are related to the car accident.

Source: CapeGazette.com, “Pennsylvania teen charged in Route 24 crash,” Ryan Mavity, June 17, 2013

Pennsylvania car accident injuries four people

A Tioga County multiple vehicle accident has left four people injured. All four people required medical treatment at a local Pennsylvania hospital. Three vehicles were involved in the car accident. Officials gave no indication that any of the drivers was impaired at the time of the crash.

 

A total of seven people were in the three cars at the time of the accident. Four people amongst the vehicles were injured seriously enough to require medical attention. One of those four’s injuries were severe enough to warrant being transferred by helicopter to another medical facility. There is no word on the condition of any of those injured.

A car was waiting at an intersection to turn onto Pennsylvania’s Route 6. While it was still sitting, it was hit by a van from behind. The impact caused the car to spin out of control and into the path of oncoming traffic. A truck from a gas company then hit the car. The driver of the van was an older man and he was charged with a traffic violation.

 

The victims that were in injured in this multiple car accident have the right to explore their legal options for obtaining financial compensation for the costs and damages they may have sustained. In the unlikely event that the severely injured victim succumbs to injuries sustained in the crash, his or her family would have the right to consider a wrongful death suit. The first step in any personal injury case is an in depth evaluation of the circumstances and police reports in order to determine what to do next.

 

Source: wetmtv.com, “4 Injured in Tioga County, Pa. Crash,” Jeff Stone, June 11, 2013

Families of car accident victim win large settlement

The families of three Pennsylvania friends that were killed in a tragic car accident caused by drunk driving have recently been awarded a large settlement. The court ruled in favor of the three families who sued the establishments that served the responsible driver. The families were awarded a shared sum of over $11 million from the car accident.

The alleged drunk driver was served alcohol at a hockey game and then at several other establishments before the fatal crash. The families named five businesses in the suit along with the person that was supposed to be the designated driver. The premise behind the suit points to the Pennsylvania law that requires businesses and servers to stop serving alcohol to someone who is clearly drunk.

According to the wording of the suit, there was no indication that any of the establishments stopped serving the driver nor prevented him from leaving without a designated driver. The families argued that the employees serving the man were not properly trained in dealing with such situations. There are also several witnesses that saw the man displaying signs of drunkenness.

While a sum of money will not bring back a loved one or undo any damage done, it can alleviate some of the expenses that come from the sudden loss of a loved one. The car accident was a tragic reminder that these types of incidents can always be prevented. The families had sufficient evidence to prove in court that they were deserving of financial compensation.

Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “Families of three killed in drunken-driving crash awarded $11.6 million settlement,” Pamela Sroka-Holzmann, June 4, 2013

Car accident involving motorcycle claims life of Pennsylvania man

A Pennsylvania man died recently in an accident in Weston Township while riding his motorcycle. The car accident occurred when the motorcycle slammed into the side of an oncoming vehicle that he was unable to avoid. Prosecutors claim that the driver of the truck was driving under the influence.

The man that is accused of drunk driving was also driving with an expired license at the time of the motorcycle accident. According to police, the truck was turning left onto Pennsylvania’s Route 202 when he moved directly in front of the oncoming bike. An accident reconstruction specialist testified in court on the specifics of the accident.

At the time of his arrest, police officers say that the man failed three different sobriety tests. He also took a blood test that confirmed that his blood alcohol levels were well over the legal limit and confirmed that he was in no condition to operate a vehicle. It appears that all injuries that were sustained in the collision were those of the victims, not the driver. A judge has recently ruled that there is enough evidence against him from the collision to move forward with a criminal trial.

The family of the deceased bike rider may consider a wrongful death suit against the driver. The first step in this litigation process is a careful examination of all evidence from the car accident to determine what other steps should be taken. They will want to review witness statements and police reports if they wish to move forward with a pursuit of financial compensation. It won’t change the tragic outcome, but may help the family members feel like they have done everything possible to bring those parties deemed responsible to justice.

Source: West Chester Patch, “Driver Held for Trial In 202 Motorcycle Crash,” Bob Byrne, May 14, 2013

Pennsylvania personal injury trial being slowed by media giant

A Pennsylvania judge has denied a motion brought by Comcast LLC to have a personal injury suit against the company moved to another county. Comcast is facing a personal injury suit from a husband and wife who claim that the wife injured by a Comcast van. The company wishes to have the trial moved to Bucks County, where they do more business, but that motion has been denied by a judge who is now asking for affirmation from the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The Pennsylvania woman claims that she sustained injuries when a Comcast van, in the course of a normal service call, pinned her between the van and her garage door. The van became stuck in the driveway, and the plaintiff offered to help push the van when she suffered her injuries. In the personal injury suit, she claims that her injuries are serious and sustaining.

In the motion to move the litigation, Comcast was reportedly unable to present sufficient reason to move the trial. The trail judge noted that, by having the hearing in Philadelphia, it would make transportation easier for all parties. It is not clear exactly when the car accident trial will begin. It remains to be seen if Comcast is simply attempting to delay the proceedings. The plaintiffs could use this additional time to their advantage by preparing their case thoroughly.

A personal injury claim can only be proven with sufficient evidence to document liability and the injuries that were occasioned by negligent acts. The plaintiffs have already taken the primary steps in this process. Their next step of recourse is to wait until the trial begins and present all evidence, even if the trial is delayed temporarily.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Phila. judge urges Pa. Superior Court to affirm denial to transfer Comcast case to Bucks Co.,” Jon Campisi, April 30, 2013

Car accident causes severe injury, brings DUI charges

After an October car crash, investigators in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania have recreated the accident and determined that two drivers should be charged. The two drivers face DUI charges for an incident that reportedly stemmed from road rage. The car accident resulted in severe injuries for one driver.

The car accident occurred when the first car was turning left and was hit on the driver’s side door by the second vehicle. There are no specific details into what occurred between the drivers before the accident, except that it is believed that the accident was a road rage altercation. The driver of the first car suffered serious head trauma and was transported to a Pennsylvania hospital.

The injured driver is a 19-year-old girl who has required long term care and rehabilitation since the car accident. Neither the driver of the second car nor his passenger suffered any injuries. Police believe that both drivers were speeding in addition to driving under the influence.

The car accident was recreated by police and they now have a clear picture of the specifics from the wreck. They believe that both drivers were under the influence of alcohol and both drivers have been charged with DUI. Additionally, both individual drivers face other sundry charges.

Clearly, based on the amount of time between the accident and formal charges being filed, this was a complicated car accident investigation. While there is no word on who may have been at fault for this incident, both drivers face legal repercussions for their actions. The seriously injured woman, despite the criminal allegations, may benefit from an impartial review of all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Even if the woman is deemed to have been partially responsible for the crash, our civil courts may apportion blame between both drivers. Based upon evidence that both parties negligently contributed to the crash, a Pennsylvania court could still determine that the uninjured driver shares some financial responsibility for a portion of the damages suffered by the young woman.

Source: The Herald, “Drivers charged with DUI after investigation,” April 19, 2013

Jury award for personal injury reduced by half

A Bucks County, Pennsylvania jury awarded a woman $1.4 million for personal injuries suffered in a car accident. This case is unusual because the personal injury that she sustained was inflicted by not another impaired driver, but herself. The woman was driving drunk when she rear ended another vehicle, and she claimed that she was not liable for her decision to operate a vehicle.

The personal injury compensation awarded by the jury was later cut in half because the court determined that the driver was at least partially responsible. She admitted in court that she should have partial responsibility. This brings into question an important issue of liability. If the woman was only partially liable in the eyes of the jury, the remaining liability lies with the establishment that served her alcohol in excess.

The driver claims that she was served alcohol in excess despite the appearance of being visibly intoxicated. It is rare to win these types of cases in court because it is often hard to find a jury that would be sympathetic to a woman who was injured, yet was supposedly driving drunk. The woman’s legal team made a compelling case for a personal injury award on her behalf.

The woman’s blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit after the accident. She sustained multiple injuries to her head, neck, and back. She also endured a severe personal injury to her spinal cord. The driver also claims that her condition was perhaps exacerbated by prescription medication that she had taken earlier that day. She claims that the place where she worked and was served alcohol failed to train their employees properly when serving others, especially in excess.

There are Pennsylvania laws barring establishments from continuing to serve alcohol to a patron that seems intoxicated. While this woman did make the poor decision to drink to excess and then operate a vehicle, the court viewed her as only partly responsible. She had the right to seek personal injury compensation, and the jury agreed with her lawyer’s argument that the drinking establishment should bear partial responsibility.

 

Source: Courier Times, “Jury award halved for Bensalem woman injured after driving drunk,” Jo Ciavaglia, March 31, 2013

Driver suffers injuries after car accident involving school bus

A Pennsylvania driver was taken to the hospital for possible head injuries after a car accident near Gettysburg. The car accident occurred when a pick-up truck slowed for a school that was flashing its lights. The truck was pushed into the school bus on impact, but no children on the bus were injured.

The driver of the truck had seen the school bus flashing lights and was coming to a stop. It is not clear why the other driver did not slow down or if they saw the caution lights flashing. The only reported injury was sustained by the driver of the pick-up truck who was taken to a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania area hospital to be treated for a head injury.

The driver of the car that is deemed to have caused this accident was wearing a seatbelt and did not sustain any injuries. However, she was cited by police for following too closely, meeting or overtaking a bus, and driving with an expired inspection. At this time, police have indicated that she will only get a citation because of the car accident. No charges have been filed.

Fortunately, no children were hurt at the scene of the car accident. The driver of the bus had turned on his yellow flashing light, indicating that he was coming to a stop. It is very dangerous and a serious lapse in judgment to ignore a school bus when it is stopped, either intentionally or incidentally.

Though there have been no criminal charges filed, there were personal injuries sustained by the truck driver. Even when there are no formal charges filed against a driver, there are legal rights to explore the possibility of financial compensation on behalf of the injured victim. As the truck driver struggles to recover from the injuries he sustained, he may elect to pursue reimbursement of monetary damages sustained as a result of the accident. If the woman is found guilty of the citations pending against her, proof of that may be offered as evidence of liability in any related civil proceeding for damages.

Source: Evening Sun, “Police: Gettysburg school bus had yellow lights flashing at time of crash,” March 20, 2013

5 people injured in Pennsylvania car crash

Police in Pennsylvania are investigating a collision between an SUV and a sedan that resulted in injuries to all five people involved. The car crash occurred on Ridge Pike near Limerick recently in the mid-afternoon and snarled area traffic for about an hour. The circumstances that led to the accident have not been reported, and it has not been indicated if one of the drivers has been cited or charged.

According to reports, the SUV was in the process of making a left turn from the eastbound lanes when it was hit by the sedan, which was traveling west. The SUV was only occupied by the driver, and the sedan had four occupants. Emergency personnel responded to the scene at around 3 p.m.

Two occupants of the sedan had to be airlifted to trauma centers, though the extent and severity of their injuries was not reported. However, the Limerick Police Department stated that their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The two other occupants of the sedan and the driver of the SUV sustained less serious injuries. They were all transported to a local medical center for evaluation and treatment.

As Pennsylvania authorities investigate what may have caused or contributed to this car crash, all of the injured parties are likely focusing on moving on from such a traumatic incident. For some of the injured parties, this may include filing a personal injury suit against the driver who is deemed liable for the accident. Those who successfully litigate such a civil suit may recover compensation for damages, medical expenses and lost wages. Taking care of their financial hardships may allow the injured victims to focus completely on their healing process.

Source: Limerick-Royersford-Spring City, PA Patch, “Ridge Pike Crash Injures Five,” Alyson D’Alessandro, Feb. 20, 2013

Several injured in Pennsylvania car crash involving 5 vehicles

Anytime there is traffic congestion on a Pennsylvania interstate, there is a potential for a car accident to occur if people fail to exercise the right amount of caution to slow down or stop. State troopers are investigating a recent car crash involving five cars and 14 people. Eight of the people involved were injured. Investigators suspect that speed is a factor in the accident.

The chain reaction accident occurred in Philadelphia after the first two cars suddenly stopped on Interstate 76 when they reached a traffic jam at the Conshohocken Curve. A third car struck the second car, and the impact sent it crashing into the first car. A fourth car stopped, but a fifth car hit it and propelled it into the third car. The collision blocked all the westbound lanes.

The police do not specify who was injured, but the eight people were taken to four different hospitals. The extent and severity of their injuries has not been reported. Four of the vehicles involved in the car crash are likely a total loss.

It is not reported whether any of the drivers received citations for traffic violations. As the investigation continues, the injured parties are likely trying to focus on their recovery. However, they may face medical bills and other expenses related to the car crash. If one or more of the drivers involved are ultimately cited in the accident, it may strengthen any claims brought against them in civil court if any of the injured parties decide to pursue a personal injury suit. In Pennsylvania, a successfully litigated claim can award compensation for damages and financial losses, which may help those injured move on with their physical and emotional recovery.

Source: philly.com, “8 hurt in 5-vehicle crash that blocks westbound I-76,” Aubrey Whelan, Jan. 21, 2013

1 dead, 2 injured in Pennsylvania car crash

Motor vehicle accidents can sometimes occur without any obvious cause. When that happens, authorities must do a comprehensive investigation of all potential factors that may have contributed to or caused the car crash. Investigators have not yet determined what factors led to a two-car accident that killed an elderly Pennsylvania woman and sent both drivers to the hospital. In the aftermath of the fatal collision, the family of the deceased is left to mourn the loss of their loved one, while the two drivers must come to terms with any lingering emotional and physical effects.

The accident occurred on a Thursday afternoon as an eastbound Toyota Corolla collided with a westbound Toyota Camry. Following the accident, local police closed off that stretch of road for nearly four hours. While an official cause of the car crash has not been determined, investigators do not believe that excessive speed was a factor.

The 84-year-old decedent was a passenger in the Corolla. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead as soon as she arrived. Both drivers were transported to nearby hospitals to be treated for non-critical injuries.

The loved ones of the deceased victim may now face financial hardships from medical, funeral and burial expenses. The survivors may have mounting medical bills and lost wages from missed work. If investigators make an official determination that the car crash was caused by an act of negligence, close family members of the deceased may be able to successfully litigate a wrongful death claim in order to recover damages. Additionally, the injured driver who is not determined to be at fault would have the right in Pennsylvania to file a personal injury claim in an effort to obtain financial compensation.

Source: Bryn Mawr-Gladwyne, PA Patch, “Bala Cynwyd Woman Dies in Wynnewood Crash,” Eric Campbell, Jan. 11, 2013

Pennsylvania car crash causes injuries; Drunk driving suspected

People who choose to drink and drive are not only putting themselves at great risk, but they are putting everyone else on the road with them at great risk as well. A Pennsylvania driver now faces multiple criminal charges, including drunk driving, after causing a car crash in Allentown that injured the driver of the car he struck. Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not serious, despite having to be transported to the hospital.

The accident occurred a couple days before Christmas when the alleged drunk driver rear-ended another vehicle. He fled the scene, but police located him a short time later. The driver’s face was injured, and his car sustained a cracked windshield and serious front-end damage.

The alleged drunk driver failed several sobriety tests, and a breathalyzer test showed evidence of intoxication. He was given a blood test later at the county DUI center. Later that day, he was arraigned on several charges, including failing to stop at an injury accident, careless driving, driving without a license, failure to provide license and insurance information at the scene, failure to buckle a safety belt and failure to notify authorities. Bail was set at $15,000.

As the victim recovers, he or she may face medical bills and lost wages resulting from the car crash. When an accident is caused by someone else’s negligence, an injured person may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim under Pennsylvania law. Any compensation that he or she receives can cover financial losses, as well as pain and suffering. Successfully litigating a personal injury claim not only alleviates the financial burden caused by the accident, but it can also offer the feeling that justice has been served.

Source: The Morning Call, “Drunken Allentown man rear-ends car on Rt. 22 and flees, police say,” Frank Warner, Dec. 25. 2012

Pennsylvania single car crash seriously injures 4 teens

Four members of a Pennsylvania high school baseball team were injured in a single car accident in Fayette County recently. Initial reports from law enforcement authorities suggest the teenagers are lucky to be alive following the treacherous car crash. Three of the four victims were airlifted to a Pennsylvania hospital, while the fourth was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC. The specific nature of their injuries and updated medical conditions were not immediately available.

The chief of the local fire department suggested that the car accident was the result of speeding. It appears the driver, who was not identified, lost control of the vehicle and tried to compensate. In doing so, it is suggested that that car overturned several times, struck a barrier and ended up on its roof on top of the barrier.

Four car accident victims were tossed from the vehicle. Pennsylvania authorities say the crash scene was particularly troubling. The boys were hurt badly, and there was a significant amount of blood. Car parts were strewn about the area. Some of the junior firefighters that responded to the scene were friends with the victims.

All four are expected to survive. While that is good news, it is also clear that the cost of their medical care may well be substantial. Recovery periods may vary, depending on the severity of injuries suffered from the car crash. The families of the injured teenagers are surely thankful there were no fatalities and focused on the recovery of everyone. In view of the inevitable costs that these types of crashes engender, the injured passengers may wish to gain an understanding of their rights under Pennsylvania law to pursue claims for personal injury through our state civil court system.

Source: WTAE, “Teens thrown from vehicle in nasty crash in Brownsville,” Nov. 9, 2012

Cause of fatal car crash in Pennsylvania is yet to be determined

The cause of a car accident can often be difficult to determine. Depending on the witnesses in the area, the condition of the roadway, as well as many other factors, Pennsylvania police typically need to conduct an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of who was at fault. In a recent car crash, police have not released the cause of the deadly accident, and it remains uncertain when they will reach a final conclusion.

The car accident occurred around 9:45 in the morning when a man and his elderly mother were involved in a collision with a pickup truck. The man, identified as being 67-years-old, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Meanwhile, the man’s mother, who was listed as being 88-years-old, was transported to a local hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries and she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after she arrived at the hospital.

The driver of the pickup truck, who has not been identified at this time, sustained injuries that are not considered life threatening. Police have stated that they are continuing to investigate the accident. It is unclear whether there were any witnesses to the accident or whether police expect to conduct an accident reconstruction to assist them in their final report.

A finalized police report can assist the victims and their families in determining whether they have the grounds to file a civil suit in a Pennsylvania court. Although this report can assist in the determination of who was at fault for a car crash, it is not a necessary piece evidence to commence such a personal injury, or in this case a wrongful death suit. It is not unusual for plaintiffs in such a suit to engage their own accident reconstruction experts, or perform their own investigation into the crash, which can assist them in demonstrating that their loss was the result of another’s negligence.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Man, elderly mother killed in 2-vehicle Pa. crash,” Sept. 5, 2012

Pennsylvania State Police warn against texting while driving

Distracted driving can be a tremendous problem in states across the country. State Police reported that approximately 14,000 Pennsylvania car accidents in 2010 could be traced to distracted driving. Tragically, 68 people died in those accidents which involved distracted driving. And in today’s highly electronic world, many distracted driving incidents involve texting or talking on cell phones.

Recently, Pennsylvania residents were given the opportunity to test a texting-while-driving simulation machine that gave them a look at just how dangerous distracted driving can be. One 14-year-old girl hit a dog and a house during her simulation. She laughed at how badly her first simulated driving experience went, but then added that it was a sober reminder of the dangers of texting while driving.

Statistics from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicate that people who text while driving are over 23 times more likely to get into car accidents-or near car accidents-than drivers who are not distracted while driving. Further, drivers who were texting evidently spend on average 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds looking at something other than the street they were traveling upon. To put a more startling spin on that, a texting driver could conceivably travel the entire distance of a football field with their eyes on something other than the road.

Those numbers given by the Pennsylvania State Police are one reason that the state put a ban on texting while driving. Simulators like the one offered by Michigan-based company PEERS Awareness will hopefully help spread the word of just how dangerous distracted driving can be. Too many innocent people are catastrophically injured-or even killed-when drivers make the poor choice to text while operating motor vehicles. Nevertheless, our state courts are open to victims of car accidents and their families to pursue justice when injury or death is caused by the negligence of another. Texting while driving not only causes injury and costs lives, but also has financial consequences for victims that are recoverable in civil court actions.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Dangers of texting and driving simulated at concert,” Liz Navratil, Aug. 29, 2012

5 injured in car accident in Pennsylvania

A car crash can be dangerous and cause serious injury. This can be especially true when there are multiple vehicles involved in the car accident. The more vehicles involved in the crash, the more likely someone will be injured. This is what happened recently in a car crash in Pennsylvania involving three vehicles, one of which was a fire department truck.

At the time of the incident, the firefighters were responding to a fire at reported at approximately 7 p.m. As the fire truck was passing through an intersection, it was struck by another vehicle heading east. The other vehicle was coming off a bridge when it hit the fire truck. The passenger vehicle hit the fire truck with such force that it pushed the fire department vehicle onto the sidewalk on the north side of the street. The fire truck also suffered severe damage.

Five people were injured as a result of the crash. Two firefighters were treated for injuries, while three other individuals were also injured in the accident. It has yet to be reported how the third vehicle was involved in the crash. Also, there have been no reports of alcohol or other intoxicants playing a role in causing the accident. However, authorities are still performing their investigation.

Although there have as yet been no reports of any civil lawsuits filed, those injured in the car accident in Pennsylvania may have the option of doing so. When filing a personal injury lawsuit, one should be aware of all applicable laws. One should also educate himself or herself on proper court procedure, including what steps are necessary to properly perfect a claim. Any resulting lawsuits would necessarily be based on claims of negligence by one or more parties that caused or contributed the injuries for which monetary damages are sought.

Source: Norristown, PA Patch, “Accident at Main and Markley Streets Injures Five,” James Myers, Aug. 23, 2012

2 people lose their lives in Pennsylvania car accident

Two people have lost their lives in a three-car collision that occurred on Pennsylvania Route 29 in Montgomery County. They were reportedly traveling southbound in a Chrysler Sebring when a northbound vehicle attempting to turn left struck their car. Their vehicle was apparently forced into the path of oncoming traffic and struck by a third vehicle. Unfortunately, the occupants of Sebring, a 73-year-old male driver and a 69-year-old female passenger, did not survive the car accident.

Pennsylvania State police report that the two fatally injured victims were taken to a hospital but succumbed to their injuries soon after arriving. They were said to have been wearing seatbelts when the car accident took place. The driver of the third vehicle also suffered what was initially described as a moderate injury and was taken to a hospital.

Not surprisingly, in light of the deaths and other injury, significant damage was also done to the vehicles involved. All three vehicles reportedly had to be towed away from the scene. Tragically, the deaths of the two people in this accident will have far greater repercussions then a simple towing bill.

For their surviving friends and family, life will likely never be the same. The family may elect to investigate their options under Pennsylvania law with regard to the fatal car accident. Our state law provides for the right of a victim’s surviving family to file wrongful death litigation when evidence documents that a fatality occurred due to the negligence of another. Similarly, those seriously injured in the same manner have the right to seek reimbursement for damages incurred.

Source: Perkiomen Valley, PA Patch, “Accident On Route 29 Leaves Two Dead,” Keith Heffintrayer, July 24, 2012

Pennsylvania car accident leaves 5 people dead, 1 injured

As Americans geared up for the 4th of July holiday, large numbers of them traveled on the nation’s roads and highways. Sadly, this may have lead to an uptick in the number of car accidents. All too often, these accidents can have tragic consequences. One recent Pennsylvania car accident has claimed the lives of five people and left another injured.

The car accident occurred on Thursday, June 28, around 2:35 p.m. on a country road in rural Pennsylvania. According to police, the car carrying a driver and three passengers ran a stop sign and collided with a tow truck. All four of the car’s occupants died in the crash, along with the driver of the tow truck. The tow truck’s passenger sustained injuries in the collision but they were considered non life-threatening.

Authorities stated that both vehicles collided with a utility pole, leading to a power outage for about 200 Pennsylvania residents. Of course, the inconvenience of going without power for a few hours pales into comparison with the grief caused by the abrupt loss of five lives. For family members and friends, this 4th of July holiday was spent without their loved ones.

Pennsylvania residents who read about this tragic loss of life may think about the potential consequences of unsafe driving. If it is confirmed that the driver of the car ran the stop sign in this Pennsylvania car accident, then the families of the passengers injured or killed may find that they can seek damages through personal injury or wrongful death suits. Accidents such as this may serve as a caution for drivers to obey traffic signs and signals and to pay careful attention when on the road. The consequences for failing to do so can be catastrophic.

Source: msnbc.com, “Five killed, 1 injured after tow truck and car collide in Pennsylvania,” Andrew Mach, June 29, 2012

Driver in Pennsylvania truck accident won’t face criminal charges

According to authorities, the truck driver involved in a recent fatal truck accident will not face criminal charges for his part in the incident. The man had allegedly struck a road sign while traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, ultimately sending it flying into the car of a 31-year-old Norristown woman, who perished from her injuries caused in the truck accident. The truck driver was purportedly cited for two traffic violations but authorities do not believe the man to have engaged in any sort of reckless driving. Whether he was negligent is another question.

The Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney claimed that there was no evidence that the truck driver was impaired by alcohol, fatigue or other similar distractions. He went on to say that he believed this to be just a tragic accident. Unfortunately, that truck accident resulted in the horrific death of a young woman.

She had reportedly been heading west through East Cocalico on the Pennsylvania Turnpike around 12:40 p.m. The road sign struck by the truck slammed through her windshield, hitting her in the head. Her vehicle then struck both another vehicle and a concrete barrier before careening to a stop in a ditch. This accident means that her family’s lives have now been irrevocably changed and hers has been brought to a tragic and horrific end.

While the man will reportedly not face criminal charges regarding the truck accident, that doesn’t mean he won’t face potential civil action from the woman’s relatives in the form of a wrongful death action. What isn’t clear is whether her family will elect to pursue civil remedies against the truck driver and perhaps any company for which he was working. However, the issue of whether the truck driver was negligent in a manner that caused or contributed to the victim’s death is one that will likely be determined by a jury, should the family decide to press claims for accountability and monetary damages.

Source: Norristown, PA Patch, “Truck Driver Won’t Be Charged in Crash That Killed Norristown Woman,” James Myers, June 6, 2012

Pennsylvania hit-and-run motorcycle accident kills 60-year-old

Roadways can be a dangerous place, even if the weather is being cooperative and the streets are in good condition. For motorcyclists, being on the road always has an added aspect of danger. Where cars and trucks have their metal cages and safety features, motorcycle drivers have only a windshield and a helmet to protect them in event of a motorcycle accident. This was brought to light on May 20 when one Pennsylvania man suffered severe injuries while riding through Berks County.

The accident occurred on Sunday evening, just after 6:30, when a 60-year-old man from Hamburg was driving his motorcycle down on an east-bound lane. According to the report from state police, the man was approaching a right curve when he was forced to swerve into the southbound shoulder by an approaching westbound car that was driving in the eastbound lane. The man lost control of the motorcycle, flipped and traveled across both lanes of the road before landing on the northbound shoulder.

The man, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, was rushed to local medical center. However, his injuries were severe, and he was pronounced dead shortly after. The driver of the car, described as a blue passenger car, did not stop or report the crash.

A motorcycle accident like this can dramatically affect those involved as well as their families and loved ones. Pennsylvania roadways can be a treacherous place, but being a motorcyclist on the road can be even more dangerous. The lives of the victim and his family are shattered by one moment of tragedy, and somewhere out there, a potentially liable individual knows exactly what happened.

Source: Reading Eagle, “Weekend motorcycle crash fatal to Hamburg man,” May 24, 2012

Car accident kills mother and son on Route 309

The road is a dangerous place to be, but when your vehicle breaks down in the middle of a Pennsylvania road, the situation can become far more treacherous. This was proven true when a mother and her adult son from Philadelphia were killed on Route 309. As of now, the cause of the break down and the cause of the car accident are both being looked into.

The 54-year-old woman and her 21-year-old son, who would have been celebrating his birthday the next day, were killed when a red Lexus SUV hit them. They were examining their malfunctioning car. The son was examining the engine while his mother was behind the vehicle when the SUV slammed into their rear end. EMTs were called to the scene but neither victim could be saved.

The car accident happened around 1:20 p.m. just south of the exit for the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Camp Hill Road overpass. It wasn’t until later that evening that traffic returned to normal.

Meanwhile, the woman driving the Lexus SUV was taken to the hospital with non-fatal injuries. A media chopper arrived on the scene twenty minutes after the wreck. In addition to the damaged that resulted, the road was closed and re-routed for several hours in order for crews to clean and for police to investigate the cause of the car accident, which will likely focus on the speed and location of each vehicle as well as road and visibility conditions. Pennsylvania roadways can be a dangerous place; however, remembering to pay attention to the road can do more than just save your life but also the lives of those around you.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, “M.E. IDs Mom, Son Killed in Route 309 Crash,” Dan Stamm, May 15, 2012

State trooper charged with DUI after fatal car accident

Most of the time, we trust in police officers to do their best as citizens, both on-duty and off, and we trust that they will act as responsible members of the community. But on Friday, May 18, one Pennsylvania state trooper found himself the apparent cause of a car accident. The driver of the other car, a 21-year-old North Philadelphia man, was fatally wounded.

The accident occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Upper Dublin. When the trooper struck the rear end of a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, the vehicle burst into flames, engulfing and killing the driver. After the autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt-force trauma, smoke inhalation, and burns. After being administered a field sobriety test, the off-duty state trooper was arrested for driving his own 2003 Toyota pickup while under the influence.

For the time being, no charges have been filed against the trooper in the fatal car accident. However, state police and country detectives are conducting an investigation into the crash. The Pennsylvania State Police are also asking people to contact them with information regarding the accident.

A fatal drunk driving car accident is tragic under any circumstances. A life is senselessly lost, and the family of the victim is left grieving and in search of answers. When the person said to be responsible is a law enforcement officer — even an off-duty one — the pain is all the greater. Nothing can bring back the person whose life was lost, and the thought that it was lost at the hands of an individual sworn to uphold the law can only add to the pain and grief that must be endured. It is only hoped that the family finds the strength to survive this incomprehensible tragedy.

Source: Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch, “State Trooper Suspected Of DUI In Deadly Turnpike Accident,” Keith Heffintrayer, May 23, 2012

Pennsylvania motorcycle accident: Man in hospital after crash

A Pennsylvania man required emergent medical care following a recent crash. The motorcycle accident resulted in serious injuries to the victim — as is common after such incidents. If there has been any change in his condition, it has not been reported.

Near mid-May, in the southern end of the state, a 54-year-old male suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident. This gentleman, while on his motorcycle, was heading west through an intersection when the driver of a sedan, in the eastbound lane, attempted to make a left hand turn. Ultimately, the motorcyclist collided with the car. Soon after the crash, he was airlifted to a treatment center with unspecified injuries. Initial reports claim he was in serious condition.

The driver believed responsible for this crash is a 41-year-old male. This individual also suffered injuries in the incident, though according to police, they were minor in nature. Local authorities have not reported if any charges will be filed in regard to this matter.

The victim of this motorcycle accident will likely have a long and difficult road to recovery. Not only will this be physically challenging, but the emotional and financial demands that are likely to be encountered will, without a doubt, weigh on him and his loved ones. It is possible for this individual to pursue a personal injury claim against the man deemed responsible for this crash in a Pennsylvania civil court. Should the results of litigation successfully fall in favor of the victim, monetary relief may be awarded. Taking this step could certainly allow the victim to focus fully on his recovery, and less about his financial concerns.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists’ Coverage

What is UM/UIM Coverage: Uninsured motorists’ coverage applies in a situation where a collision occurred and the responsible party has no insurance coverage or the responsible party could not be identified, as the responsible party has fled the accident scene. Underinsured motorists’ coverage involves a situation where the responsible party has insurance coverage, but the insurance coverage of the responsible party is not sufficiently high to pay the losses which have been occasioned as a result of the collision.

A considerable number, nearly 15%, of drivers on the road in Pennsylvania, do not have liability insurance. For obvious reasons, these drivers are known as uninsured motorists (UM). Other drivers comply with the law, but will only carry the minimum liability coverage that is required by the state. This minimum coverage is often not enough to cover the medical bills or property damage costs that are incurred in an accident. Insurance companies refer to these drivers as underinsured motorists (UIM).

Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage includes the policyholder, other drivers covered by the policy, and any passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Like liability insurance, UM/UIM bodily injury coverage is purchased with limits. If the at-fault driver is an uninsured motorist, then the victim’s insurance policy will pay up to the per person/per accident limits purchased by the victim. If the at-fault driver is an underinsured motorist, then the underinsured’s policy will pay to its limit, and the victim’s policy will then pay the balance, up to the limit purchased. Like liability coverage, UM/UIM bodily injury insurance covers bodily injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Beginning January 1, 1990, “U” coverage is optional. This coverage will be offered on an “opt-out” system where the insured must make an affirmative rejection of the “U” coverage. The “U” coverage will be equal in limits to the bodily injury liability coverage under the policy unless the insured elects not to purchase “U” coverage or elects to purchase “U” coverage at a liability limit less than the liability coverage of the policy, or elects to purchase “U” coverage in excess of the liability coverage of the policy. We are suggesting to our clients that “U” coverage be maintained at least in an amount equal to the bodily injury liability coverage of the underlying policy.

Although, hypothetically, all motor vehicles in Pennsylvania are to have at least $15,000/$30,000 liability limits, the reality is that there are many uninsured drivers traveling the highways of Pennsylvania. If you are in a collision with an uninsured driver and you do not have “U” coverage, you would retain the right to sue the responsible driver, assuming you have not elected the limited tort option, but the chance of collecting from the uninsured driver is virtually nil. Even assuming the driver has the minimum coverage, the reality of the situation is that the $15,000/$30,000 policy is woefully inadequate to cover the various losses sustained in a substantial injury case. Maintaining adequate “U” coverage enables one to make a claim against their own carrier for monetary damages where the responsible party has no insurance or inadequate insurance.

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